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.