, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 109-115

Lung cancer in patients with HIV infection and review of the literature

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Abstract

Background. The improved survival of patients since the use of highly active antiretroviral treatments has lead to the reporting of non-AIDS defining tumors, such as lung cancer.

Methods. Analysis of the records of 22 HIV-infected patients with lung cancer (LC) diagnosed in three hospitals located in the Paris area (France).

Results. Twenty-one patients were smokers. The patients (86% male, 14% female) had a median age of 45 yr (range, 33–64 yr). Risk factors for HIV infection were intravenous drug use in 5 patients, homosexual transmission in 10 patients, and heterosexual transmission in 7 patients. At diagnosis of LC, seven patients had previously developed a CDC-defined AIDS manifestation, the median CD4 cell count was 364/mm3 (range 20–854/mm3) and median HIV1 RNA viral load was 3000 copies/mL. The most frequent histological subtype was squamous cell carcinoma (11 cases). A stage III–IV disease was observed in 75% of the patients. Only one patient had a small-cell lung carcinoma. Twenty-one patients received combined specific therapy, of which six patients underwent surgery for the LC. The median overall survival was 7 mo. No opportunistic infections occurred during LC therapy.

Conclusions. LC occurs at a young age in HIV-infected smokers. LC is not associated with severe immunodeficiency. The prognosis is poor because of their initial extensive disease and a poor response to therapy. However, surgery appears to improve outcome in much the same way as in the general population.