Lung cancer in HIV positive patients: The GICAT experience

A. Bearz, E. Vaccher, F. Martellotta, M. Spina, R. Talamini, A. Lleshi, B. Cacopardo, G. Nunnari, M. Berretta, U. Tirelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: AIDS incidence and mortality have decreased since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) into clinical practice. HIV-related malignancies, namely Kaposi's sarcoma and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, have decreased, whereas non-AIDS defining tumors have been increasing. Our aim was to study the impact of HAART on natural history of lung cancer in HIV-positive patients, comparing patients with HIV-lung cancer treated in the pre-HAART era versus the HAART era. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We collected 68 patients with HIV-lung cancer diagnosed from 1986 to 2003. Pre-HAART era included 34 patients who did not receive HAART, whereas the HAART era included 34 patients diagnosed after January 1997 who received HAART. RESULTS: At diagnosis Performance Status (PS) was significantly different, patients with PS ≥ 2 were 44% in the pre-HAART era, versus 29% in the post-HAART era, p = 0.02. The 79.4% of patients in the post-HAART era received chemotherapy alone or with radiotherapy versus 47% in the pre-HAART era, p = 0.04. Cancer was the leading cause of death for both groups, with 29 (85.3%) and 21 (61.8%) patients in the pre-and post-HAART settings, respectively. The median overall survival (OS) was 3.8 months for the pre-HAART population vs. 7 months for the post-HAART patients, p = 0.01. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-lung cancer patients have a longer overall survival in the post-HAART era versus the pre-HAART era, due to a not detrimental effect of chemotherapy and positive effect of HAART. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death, showing that treatment of the cancer is the most important target now to improve their outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-508
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Chemotherapy
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Lung cancer in HIV positive patients: The GICAT experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this