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Clin Lung Cancer. 2012 Jan;13(1):6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2011.05.005. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Lung cancer in HIV Infection.

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Division of Internal Medicine, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, WA 98111, USA.

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  • Clin Lung Cancer. 2012 Mar;13(2):160.


Lung cancer is the most prevalent non-AIDS-defining malignancy in the highly active antiretroviral therapy era. Smoking plays a significant role in the development of HIV-associated lung cancer, but the cancer risk is two to four times greater in HIV-infected persons than in the general population, even after adjusting for smoking intensity and duration. Lung cancer is typically diagnosed a decade or more earlier among HIV-infected persons (mean age, 46 years) compared to those without HIV infection. Adenocarcinoma is the most common histological subtype, and the majority of patients are diagnosed with locally advanced or metastatic carcinoma. Because pulmonary infections are common among HIV-infected individuals, clinicians may not suspect lung cancer in this younger patient population. Surgery with curative intent remains the treatment of choice for early-stage disease. Although there is increasing experience in using radiation and chemotherapy for HIV-infected patients who do not have surgical options, there is a need for prospective studies because this population is frequently excluded from participating in cancer trials. Evidence-based treatments for smoking-cessation with demonstrated efficacy in the general population must be routinely incorporated into the care of HIV-positive smokers.

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