Comparison of molecular changes in lung cancers in HIV-positive and HIV-indeterminate subjects

JAMA. 1998 May 20;279(19):1554-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.279.19.1554.


Context: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been associated with an increasing incidence of malignancy, and HIV-infected persons have an increased incidence of primary lung carcinoma compared with the general population.

Objective: To investigate the molecular changes present in HIV-associated lung tumors and compare them with those present in lung carcinomas arising in HIV-indeterminate subjects ("sporadic tumors").

Design: Convenience sample.

Subjects: Archival tissues from 11 HIV-positive persons and from 35 persons of indeterminate HIV status.

Setting: University-based medical centers and affiliated hospitals.

Main outcome measures: Analysis of frequency of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and microsatellite alteration (MA) using polymerase chain reaction and 16 polymorphic microsatellite markers at 8 chromosomal regions frequently deleted in lung cancer. Presence of HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) sequences.

Results: The overall frequency of LOH at all chromosomal regions tested and the frequencies at most of the individual regions were similar in the 2 groups. Frequency of MA present in the HIV-associated tumors (0.18) was 6-fold higher than in sporadic tumors (0.03) (P<.001). At least 1 MA was present in 10 (91%) of 11 HIV-associated tumors vs 17 (48%) of 35 sporadic tumors (P=.02). Molecular changes were independent of tumor stage and gender. HIV and HPV sequences were not detected in the HIV-associated lung carcinomas.

Conclusions: Microsatellite alterations, which reflect widespread genomic instability, occur at greatly increased frequency in HIV-associated lung carcinomas. Although the mechanism underlying the development of increased MAs is unknown, it may play a crucial role in the development of many HIV-associated tumors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • HIV / genetics
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity*
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / virology
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Viral