Lung cancer in patients with HIV infection: Is it AIDS-related?

Michael Burke*, A. Furman, M. Hoffman, S. Marmor, A. Blum, I. Yust

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


HIV-infected individuals have an increased risk of malignancy, especially non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma. Recently, several workers have noted a raised prevalence of lung cancer in HIV-positive subjects. We describe the diagnosis and clinical course for four HIV-seropositive patients who presented with lung cancer. All of the patients were young and were heavy smokers. They were all on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), although the adherence varied from poor to excellent. The CD4 cell counts of these patients ranged from 200 to 686 cells/μL and their viral loads ranged from undetectable to 29 000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL. After initial diagnosis of HIV infection between 5 and 13 years previously, they all presented with advanced lung cancer, with a very short clinical course, and all four died within 2-9 months of diagnosis. A comparison of the incidence of lung cancer in patients with HIV infection at our centre with that in the general population suggests that there is an increased prevalence in the HIV-infected patients. We review the literature and discuss whether lung cancer in HIV infection is coincidental or related to the primary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-114
Number of pages5
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • HIV
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-AIDS-defining tumours


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