A rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient treated with low-dose methotrexate (MTX) therapy suffered from hemophagocytic syndrome (HPS) associated with B-cell lymphoma (B-LAHS). Administration of acyclovir and intravenous immunoglobulin promptly resolved laboratory test abnormalities accompanied with HPS. Moreover, hemophagocytic histiocytes and lymphoma cells in the bone marrow disappeared without anti-cancer therapy. Two months after reintroduction of MTX for RA flare, lymphoma re-grew rapidly without bone marrow involvement and HPS. Two cycles of combination chemotherapy induced the lymphoma to a complete remission/unconfirmed (CRu), but then the chemotherapy was discontinued due to severe side effects. In this case, on the basis of RA and MTX induced immunosuppressive state, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection was associated with the development of HPS and lymphoma. Anti-viral therapy alone was effective against HPS and lymphoma at initial presentation and improved her general condition. This case indicates that anti-cancer therapy should be preceded by anti-viral therapy and withdrawal of immunosuppressive therapy in patients under immunosuppressive therapy, as long as the clinical situation permits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research