Hepatocellular cancer therapy in patients with HIV infection: Disparities in cancer care, trials enrolment, and cancer-related research

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Transl Oncol. 2021 Jun 15;14(9):101153. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101153. Online ahead of print.


In the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is arising as a common late complication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, with a great impact on morbidity and mortality. Though HIV infection alone may not be sufficient to promote hepatocarcinogenesis, the complex interaction of HIV with hepatitis is a main aspect influencing HCC morbidity and mortality. Data about sorafenib effectiveness and safety in HIV-infected patients are limited, particularly for patients who are on HAART. However, in properly selected subgroups, outcomes may be comparable to those of HIV-uninfected patients. Scarce data are available for those other systemic treatments, either tyrosine kinase inhibitors, as well as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which have been added to our therapeutic armamentarium. This review examines the influence of HIV infection on HCC development and natural history, summarizes main data on systemic therapies, offers some insight into possible mechanisms of T cell exhaustion and reversal of HIV latency with ICIs and issues about clinical trials enrollment. Nowadays, routine exclusion of HIV-infected patients from clinical trial participation is totally inappropriate, since it leaves a number of patients deprived of life-prolonging therapies.

PMID:34144349 | DOI:10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101153