, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 653-660
Date: 04 Dec 2008

Current Understanding and Potential Immunotherapy for HIV-Associated Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus (SCCA)

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Squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) is a rare disease in the average population but is an increasing concern among immunocompromised individuals, such as the HIV-seropositive. Coinfection with human papillomavirus (HPV) in this population is common. HPV infection is difficult to clear with a compromised immune system, which results in a greater risk of tumor development and a more aggressive progression of the disease. The recent approval of a prophylactic HPV vaccine for cervical cancer has sparked an interest in a search for improved immunotherapeutic multimodality therapies to combat anogenital tumors associated with the virus. In this review, we discuss the known mechanisms of action of HIV-associated SCCA, examine the current treatments for the disease, and focus on the potential of an immunotherapeutic vaccine approach for both prophylactic and therapeutic application.

Presented at the Molecular Surgeon Symposium on Personalized Genomic Medicine and Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, April 12, 2008. The symposium was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (R13 CA132572 to Changyi Chen).