Plasma EBV-load as an early biomarker and prognostic factor of HIV-related lymphomas

Plasma EBV-load as an early biomarker and prognostic factor of HIV-related lymphomas

Online publication: 29/06/2018 Journal: Clinical Infectious Diseases



Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been implicated in lymphomagenesis and can be found infecting tumor cells and in plasma at lymphoma diagnosis, especially in HIV-infected patients. Our aim was to evaluate the usefulness of plasma EBV-load as biomarker and prognostic factor in HIV-related lymphomas.


EBV-load was measured by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in plasma samples of 81 HIV-related lymphomas at different moments: within one year before lymphoma diagnosis, at diagnosis and at complete response (CR). Control samples included HIV-negative patients with lymphoma and HIV-infected patients without neoplasia or opportunistic infections.


Patients with HIV-related lymphoma had more frequently detectable EBV-load at lymphoma diagnosis (53%) than both, HIV-negative with the same lymphoma type (16%) (p<0.001) and HIV-infected individuals without neoplasia or opportunistic infection (1,2%) (p<0.001). HIV-related lymphoma patients with detectable EBV-load in plasma at lymphoma diagnosis had a statistically significant decrease of EBV-load at CR. High EBV-load (>5000 copies/mL) at lymphoma diagnosis was an independent negative prognostic factor for overall survival and progression-free survival in patients with HIV-related lymphoma. Detectable plasma EBV-load identified HIV-infected subjects eventually developing lymphoma (area under the curve [AUC] 82%, 95%CI: 0.67-0.96).


Plasma EBV-load can be used as biomarker and as prognostic factor in HIV-related lymphomas. The presence of EBV-load in plasma can be an early predictor of HIV-related lymphoma development.

Authors: Muncunill J, Baptista MJ, Hernandez-Rodríguez Á, Dalmau J, Garcia O, Tapia G, Moreno M, Sancho JM, Martínez-Picado J, Feliu E, Mate JL, Ribera JM, Navarro JT

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