New treatment strategies for HIV-positive cancer patients undergoing antiblastic chemotherapy

Massimiliano Berretta, Raffaele Di Francia, Brigida Stanzione, Gaetano Facchini, Arben LLeshi, Paolo De Paoli, Michele Spina, Umberto Tirelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: The introduction of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) into clinical practice has dramatically changed the outcome of HIV-infected patients by prolonging their survival. The increase in life expectancy has led to an increased risk of non-AIDS-related mortality and morbidity, including cardiovascular diseases, neurocognitive diseases, neuroendocrine dysfunctions and cancer. Areas covered: The GICAT (Italian Cooperation Group on AIDS and Tumors) has demonstrated that patients who receive a multidisciplinary approach with the combination of anticancer agents (AC) and HAART can achieve better responses and survival rates than patients who receive AC alone. The first obstacle for the oncologist to plan treatment for cancer HIV-patients is the preliminary evaluation of drug-drug interactions between AC and HAART. Recent progress in pharmacogenomics could provide a new approach for personalized treatments. The rationale of this review is to summarize the existing data on the impact of HAART on the clinical management of cancer patients with HIV/AIDS and DDIs between antiretrovirals and AC. In addition, to maximize the efficacy of both concomitant therapy and to minimize the risk of DDIs, a currently useful list of pharmacogenomic markers of key metabolic enzymes is provided. Expert opinion: In this scenario, the importance of cooperation between oncologists and other health specialists (i.e., infectivologists, pharmacists, genetics and lab specialists) must not be underestimated in the management of these patients with the aim of planning an individual treatment strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2391-2403
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2016


  • AIDS
  • cancer
  • cytochrome P450
  • Drug metabolism
  • individualized therapy
  • pharmacogenetics
  • pharmacogenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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