Cancer has become the leading cause of death among persons with HIV infection worldwide. Kaposi sarcoma, aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer were recognized as an AIDS-Defining Malignancies early in the epidemic. With decreased infection related deaths and aging of the population living with HIV. In the setting of broadly available ART, cancer now impacts persons living with HIV both at the time of diagnosis and as a consequence of long-term HIV infection. In addition to AIDS defining malignancies, people living with HIV are at increased risk of a range of cancers, including lung cancer, anal cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer, and head and neck cancer. Importantly, comorbid HIV infection is associated with more than a two-fold increased risk of death among persons with cancer compared with persons of the same age, gender, and stage of cancer without HIV infection. Despite more than three decades of recognizing an association between HIV and cancer, significant disparities remain in our knowledge about the etiology, natural history and treatment of HIV-associated malignancies (HIVAM). Immunotherapeutic approaches to treating cancer in the setting of HIV are emerging as important options. To address unanswered question in the field of HIV and cancer, we are proactively continuing to foster and strengthen research in our local and global HIV communities through these specific aims:
- Support design and implementation of studies addressing the maturing epidemiology of HIVAM across the globe
- Foster development and evaluation of new technologies for the treatment and prevention of HIVAM through rigorous pre-clinical, translational and early-clinical studies
- Promote state-of-the-art technology for the pathologic and molecular diagnosis and monitoring of HIVAM
The HIVAM Core continues to cultivate research in the Seattle biomedical community through the provision of assistance with lab assay development, consultation, and data tools. Additionally, the number of researchers within this field is growing with many of our junior investigators and next generation leaders initiating independent research careers in the field of HIVAM with the support of UW/CFAR. Further, the NIH funding base for research in HIVAM has grown to over $15 million, and several grants, including K23s, R21s, R01s, P01s, and U54s have been awarded to HIVAM members, furthering CFAR’s mission of adding value to the local research community.
Thomas Uldrick, MD, MS