Outcomes of men with HIV and germ cell cancer: Results from an international collaborative study

Cancer. 2022 Jan 15;128(2):260-268. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33928. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have shown that men with HIV and germ cell cancer (HIV-GCC) have inferior overall survival (OS) in comparison with their HIV-negative counterparts. However, little information is available on treatments and outcomes of HIV-GCC in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).

Methods: This study examined men living with HIV who were 18 years old or older and had a diagnosis of histologically proven germ cell cancer (GCC). The primary outcomes were OS and progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: Data for 89 men with a total of 92 HIV-GCCs (2 synchronous GCCs and 1 metachronous bilateral GCC) were analyzed; among them were 64 seminomas (70%) and 28 nonseminomas (30%). The median age was 36 years, the median CD4 T-cell count at GCC diagnosis was 420 cells/µL, and 77% of the patients on cART had an HIV RNA load < 500 copies/mL. Stage I disease was found in 44 of 79 gonadal GCCs (56%). Among 45 cases with primary disseminated GCC, 78%, 18%, and 4% were assigned to the good-, intermediate-, and poor-prognosis groups, respectively, of the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group. Relapses occurred in 14 patients. Overall, 12 of 89 patients (13%) died. The causes of death were refractory GCC (n = 5), an AIDS-defining illness (n = 3), and other causes (n = 4). After a median follow-up of 6.5 years, the 5- and 10-year PFS rates were 81% and 73%, respectively, and the 5- and 10-year OS rates were 91% and 85%, respectively.

Conclusions: The 5- and 10-year PFS and OS rates of men with HIV-GCC were similar to those reported for men with HIV-negative GCC. Patients with HIV-GCC should be managed identically to HIV-negative patients.

Lay summary: Men living with HIV are at increased risk for germ cell cancer (GCC). Previous studies have shown that the survival of men with HIV-associated germ cell cancer (HIV-GCC) is poorer than the survival of their HIV-negative counterparts. This study examined the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of 89 men with HIV-GCC in the era of effective combination antiretroviral therapies. The long-term outcomes of men with HIV-GCC were similar to those reported for men with HIV-negative GCC. Patients with HIV-GCC should be managed identically to HIV-negative patients.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; HIV-related germ cell cancer; germ cell cancer; nonseminoma; seminoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal*
  • Seminoma* / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / pathology