Challenges and opportunities for treatment and research of AIDS-related malignancies in Africa

Curr Opin Oncol. 2006 Sep;18(5):479-86. doi: 10.1097/01.cco.0000239887.90665.10.


Purpose of review: Following our review of AIDS-associated cancer in developing nations in 2004, we sought to update recent publications and review data on the challenges and opportunities for the treatment and research of AIDS malignancies in Africa.

Recent findings: It is apparent that the burden of AIDS-related malignancies and other virus-associated tumors is significant and increasing in Africa. Several recent studies report findings on conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma and there is a report that Hodgkin's disease, a non-AIDS-defining neoplasm, is increasing in incidence. International collaborative partnerships dedicated to AIDS malignancies in developing countries are feasible and invaluable for clinical strategies to address this aspect of the pandemic. A departure point is the ongoing work of the East Africa - Case Western Reserve University Collaboration in AIDS malignancies.

Summary: The burden of neoplastic complications of HIV infection and endemic virus-associated tumors are assuming increasing significance in Africa. There is a need to develop nonmyelotoxic therapies and approaches that are hypothesis-driven and pathogenesis-based. The scarcity and shortages in this region demand that our scientific and therapeutic strategies are both suitable and pragmatic for testing in this setting. It is also imperative that African investigators lead us in this important endeavor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / virology*