An Advanced AIDS Patient With CD4 <20 and Plasmablastic Lymphoma Achieving Complete Response With the V-EPOCH Regimen


Cureus. 2020 Jun 15;12(6):e8641. doi: 10.7759/cureus.8641.


Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is highly aggressive and carries a poor prognosis. Although the standard chemotherapy choice for most diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) is R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone), subtypes of DLBCL such as PBL are less responsive to this treatment regimen. The preferred regimens for PBL include infusional EPOCH (etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin

hydrochloride), HyperCVAD (cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, doxorubicin hydrochloride, and dexamethasone), or CODOX-M/IVAC (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, high-dose methotrexate/ifosfamide, etoposide, and high-dose cytarabine). Recent studies have begun to investigate the addition of other agents to these regimens to improve survival. This case report is about a patient with a history of advanced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) with a cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) count <20 who had CD20 negative plasmablastic lymphoma and was successfully treated with the combination of bortezomib and dose-adjusted EPOCH (V-EPOCH) and intrathecal chemotherapy, achieving complete response with optimal tolerance. To our knowledge, this is the first case to demonstrate a complete response with V-EPOCH for PBL in advanced AIDS with CD4 <20. We aim to highlight the importance of standardizing effective chemotherapeutic approaches to this cancer entity and augment the effectiveness of V-EPOCH therapy in the literature review.