Georgetown Researchers Find Cancer Patients with HIV can Benefit from Immunotherapy

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As published in Georgetown University’s website, the George Town Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center recently published a study in JAMA Oncology. They report that immunotherapy that has revolutionized treatment of cancers appear to offer similar benefits to cancer patients also combatting HIV. Checkpoint inhibitors, a relatively new class of drug, may be safe and effective for patients living with advanced  cancer and HIV.  The study centered on 73 patients with HIV found through medical literature whose cancer had been treated with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Georgetown researchers methodically studied reports and case series from oncologists who chose to treat their patients with cancer and HIV infection with advanced cancer drugs.  Those patients with HIV were not observed to experience increased adverse effects.   Lead study investigator Chul Kim reported that powerful checkpoint inhibitors may not only treat cancer but also may restore “immune response against HIV in patients whose immune system is exhausted by its long fight with HIV.”

George Town Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Background

A cancer center located on the medical campus of Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  It makes up one of four components of the Georgetown University Medical Center and is affiliated with MedStar of Georgetown University Hospital.  Additionally, it partners with MedStar Health for regional patient care. It is named in honor for Vince Lombardi, who was treated for cancer at Georgetown University.  Established in 1970, it received initial National Cancer Institute designation in 1974.  In 1990, it was designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center, the highest level of certification for cancer centers.

Lead Research/Investigator

Chul Kim, MD, MPH