Human immunodeficiency virus-associated malignancies: A therapeutic update

Antonello Malfitano, Giuseppe Barbaro, Alessandro Perretti, Giorgio Barbarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has deeply changed the landscape of HIV-associated malignancies. Some AIDS-defining tumors, namely Primitive Lymphoma of Central Nervous System, have drastically declined, whereas a steady increase has been observed for non-AIDS-defining tumors, maybe due to longer survival of HIV-infected people. Easier immune restoration, subsequent to availability of a number of drugs targeting HIV at different points, has decreased opportunistic infections which hampered treatment of HIV-associated cancers. As a matter of fact these patients have been assimilated more and more with their negative counterpart, undergoing the same aggressive approach. Consistently, procedures that have been so far precluded to HIV + subjects, such as transplant of hemopoietic stem cells, either autologous or allogenic, and liver transplant are expected to be performed more and more extensively in this population. Which also would mean a full removal of the stigma which has weighed on it. Hence, it is true-like that malignancies and related problems may in the next future make up a main concern for the HIV specialist. Old and new challenges might be the drug-drug interaction of antiretrovirals or biotherapy-related infections or the debated question of an earlier HAART implementation in the course of HIV disease, with CD4 + cells >500/μl. In fact, if assimilation of HIV patients with cancer and the general population is a remarkable achieved goal, uniqueness of HIV infection in terms of immune status still makes HIV-associated cancer a unique chapter in the setting of Oncology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent HIV Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Biotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Highly active antiretroviral therapy
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Malignancies
  • Stem cell rescue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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