Treating cancer with immunotherapy in HIV-positive patients: A challenging reality

Giorgia Guaitoli, Cinzia Baldessari, Michela Maur, Cristina Mussini, Marianna Meschiari, Fausto Barbieri, Stefano Cascinu, Federica Bertolini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Immunotherapy has widely changed the management of different malignancies. However, efficacy and safety of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are not well established in people living with HIV (PLWH). Population of HIV-positive patients has deeply changed after the introduction of modern antiretroviral therapy (ART) and available data of immunotherapy in this subgroup are inadequate considering that cancer has become a leading cause of death and morbidity in this population. Moreover, there are many similarities between cancer and infectious antigen stimulation so that ICIs are even under evaluation as specific HIV treatment. Most of literature on this topic is based on small case series that suggest that immunotherapy for PLWH seems to be as effective as in HIV-negative population with a good safety profile. In this article we review literature on HIV and immunotherapy and we collect many case series available in different malignancies, with a brief focus on lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102836
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Cancer treatment
  • HIV
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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