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Disease Area Cancer, Immunology, Personalized medicine

Proving the Worth of ICIs

Live expectancy for HIV-positive individuals in the US has improved dramatically in recent years (1). Now, the leading cause of death for these patients is cancer. And yet, clinical trials for new cancer therapies continue to exclude HIV-positive patients, restricting clinicians’ abilities to make informed treatment decisions (2). A systematic review of HIV-positive patients treated with the most common form of immunotherapy – immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) – suggests significant benefit, strengthening the hand of scientists arguing for the inclusion of these patients in a wider breadth of trials (3).

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  1. Antiretroviral Therapy Cohort Collaboration, “Survival of HIV-positive patients starting antiretroviral therapy between 1996 and 2013: a collaborative analysis of cohort studies”, Lancet HIV, 4, 8, 349–56 (2017). PMID: 28501495.
  2. RF Little, “Cancer Clinical Trials in Persons with HIV Infection”, Curr Opin HIV AIDS, 12, 1, 84–88 (2018). PMID: 27559711.
  3. MR Cook and C Kim, “Safety and Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Patients With HIV Infection and Advanced-Stage Cancer: A Systematic Review”, JAMA Oncol [Epub ahead of print] (2019). PMID: 30730549.
  4. I Puzanov et al., “Managing toxicities associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors: consensus recommendations from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Toxicity Management Working Group”, J Immunother Cancer, 5, 9 [published online] (2017). PMID: 29162153.

About the Author

Jonathan James

As an assistant editor for The Translational Scientist, I can combine two of my passions; translational science research and science communication. Having thrown myself into various editing and other science communication gigs whilst at University I came to realise the importance of good quality content that delivers in an exciting and engaging way.

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