medwireNews: A database analysis reported at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany, points to the feasibility of using immune checkpoint inhibitors in people living with HIV who develop cancer.
Among 20 participants of the French CancerVIH database who received the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab – primarily for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (95%), but also for melanoma (5%) – none experienced immune-related adverse events (AEs) and there was no AE-related mortality.
Just one patient experienced an increase in the HIV viral load and a decrease in the CD4 lymphocyte count during immunotherapy, but this was attributed to interruption of antiretroviral therapy.
As reported in a poster by Aurélien Gobert (Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France) and colleagues, 24% of the 17 evaluable patients achieved a partial response, while 12% had stable disease and the remaining 64% had progressive disease at the first assessment.
The researchers therefore believe that anti-PD-1 therapy could be a viable option for this patient population, but stressed that “CD4 lymphocyte count and HIV viral load should be monitored during treatment with immune-checkpoint inhibitors and patients should be included in dedicated clinical trials.”
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