AIDS-Associated Malignancies

Cancer Treat Res. 2019:177:1-21. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-03502-0_1.


Malignancies were one of the earliest recognized manifestations that led to the description of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The majority of cancers in AIDS patients are associated with coinfection with oncogenic viruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 8, and human papillomavirus, with resulting malignancies occurring secondary to diminished immune surveillance against viruses and virus-infected tumor cells. Over 50% of AIDS lymphomas are associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and/or HHV8 infection. HHV8-associated diseases include Kaposi sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), and multicentric Castleman disease (MCD). EBV is associated with several malignancies, including Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Coinfection with HIV and HPV is associated with an increased risk of various squamous cell carcinomas of epithelial tissues. HAART has significantly impacted the incidence, management, and prognosis of AIDS-related malignancies. In addition to changing the natural history of HIV infection in regard to incidence and survival, HAART has dramatically decreased the incidence of certain virally mediated HIV-associated malignancies such as KS and primary CNS lymphoma. The beneficial effects of HAART on these tumors are attributed to drug-mediated HIV suppression and immune reconstitution. However, HAART has had a less favorable impact on EBV- and HPV-related malignancies. This chapter presents an overview of HIV-associated malignancies mediated by HHV-8, EBV, and HPV, and reviews the effect of HAART on the epidemiology, presentation, treatment, and outcomes of these cancers.

Keywords: AIDS-associated lymphoma; Anogenital cancer; Epstein–Barr virus; Human herpesvirus 8; Human immunodeficiency virus; Human papillomavirus; Kaposi sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Coinfection / virology
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / complications
  • Herpesviridae Infections / drug therapy*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Neoplasms* / virology
  • Oncogenic Viruses
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*