Systemic treatment and radiotherapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and HIV infection - A systematic review

Mariana Brandão, Valérie Durieux, Maša Auprih, Alessandra Fozza, Nicolas Dauby, Francesco Cuccia, Sandrine Aspeslagh, Marthe Verhaert, Niccolò Giaj-Levra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer is the most common non-AIDS defining cancer among people living with HIV (PLWH), but there is a paucity of data regarding the efficacy and toxicity of radiotherapy and systemic regimens, including immunotherapy, in the treatment of these patients. In order to answer this question, we have performed a systematic search of the literature in Ovid Medline until March 17, 2022. We included 21 publications, enrolling 513 PLWH with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), mostly male (75-100%), (ex-)smokers (75-100%) and with stage III-IV at diagnosis (65-100%). The overall response rate (ORR) to chemotherapy (n = 186 patients, mostly receiving platinum-based regimens) was highly variable (17 %-83 %), with a substantial hematological toxicity. ORR varied between 13 % and 50 % with single-agent immunotherapy (n = 68), with median overall survival between 9 and 11 months and a very acceptable toxicity profile, in line with studies in the HIV non-infected population. All five patients receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs; gefitinib or erlotinib) showed a partial response and long overall survival. Yet, combination of TKIs with antiretroviral therapy using pharmacological boosters, such as ritonavir, should be avoided. Radiotherapy was evaluated among 42 patients, showing high ORR (55 %-100 %), but 18 % of patients had a pneumonitis. This systematic review shows that radiotherapy and systemic therapy are effective and safe among PLWH with controlled infection diagnosed with NSCLC. Nonetheless, most reports were small and heterogeneous and larger studies are needed to confirm these encouraging findings. Moreover, clinical trials should not restrict the inclusion of PLWH, as more data is needed regarding the long-term efficacy and safety of treatments among this underserved population, especially of immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalLung Cancer
Early online date21 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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