A Leader in Treating AIDS-Related Cancers

BIDMC has been a prominent force in HIV, cancer care and research for more than 26 years. Our internationally acclaimed team is experienced in optimizing treatment for AIDS-related malignancies in our patients who are also undergoing lifelong anti-retroviral therapy (HAART).

BIDMC is one of seven core sites in the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), a National Cancer Institute-funded clinical trials group. The purpose of the AMC is to develop new treatment strategies for AIDS-related cancers. Our staff are major enrollers in this multi-institutional organization with 37 sites worldwide.

Clinical Excellence

Beth Israel Deaconess is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) - Harvard's National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. We collaborate extensively on clinical trials with the DF/HCC.

Cancer in the HIV Setting

If you have HIV, you are at increased risk for developing lymphoma and other types of cancer. While improved anti-retroviral therapy has enriched the quality of life, cancer in the HIV setting is a growing concern. If you have a compromised immune system, tumors tend to progress faster and certain cancers typically seen in an older population, such as lymphoma, may occur earlier and with greater frequency. You may not tolerate chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as the population at large, and you may experience side effects from interactions with multiple drug therapies. 

Our team of HIV and cancer specialists at BIDMC are highly proficient and experienced at managing these and other issues associated with HIV and cancer by anticipating side effects and complications, monitoring your condition more closely and intervening earlier.

Collaborative, Compassionate Care

BIDMC has a long history of providing supportive, compassionate care for patients with HIV disease and their loved ones.

Our team of HIV cancer experts work closely to provide a broad spectrum of services, from topical and local treatment to systemic chemotherapy and novel therapies under evaluation (clinical trials). We collaborate with the Division of Infectious Disease and the Departments of Dermatology and Psychiatry. We consult with pathologists, who play a key role in identifying the type and extent of your cancer (if it has spread), and help guide treatment. Depending on your diagnosis and symptoms, you may see one of our cancer specialists in Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Radiology and Interventional Radiology, among others.

We were one of the first medical establishments in New England to specialize in HIV treatment, opening an HIV Clinic in the early 1980s. We also have an Infectious Disease/Oncology Dysplasia Clinic, which offers education, screening and treatment of disorders associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Improving Quality of Life

A hallmark of our service is the warm, personalized and supportive relationship we strive to establish with with our patients and their families. We offer a broad network of support services and resources to help you and your family understand your cancer diagnosis in the setting of HIV, the tests and procedures you will need, your recovery period, medications, returning home, and much more. Throughout your treatment and care, you can stay connected with loved ones through CarePages, our free, personal and private web page service. CarePages lets you share treatment news with friends and family, and receive messages of support.

Our goal, always, is to improve the quality of life. Our approach features collaboration among our leading HIV and cancer experts, shared decision-making with you and your loved ones, access to state-of-the-art treatments tailored for you, and long-term and compassionate follow-up care and encouragement.

Novel Treatments

Treatment decisions for Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphoma, HPV-related cancers and non-AIDS defining cancers are based on the type of symptoms you have and how extensive your cancer might be. Your personalized treatment plan may include surgery, medical oncology (chemotherapy and other agents) and/or radiation therapy — separately or in some combination.

You may benefit from standard treatment protocols (guidelines) that improve the outcome of your particular cancer and symptoms. Or you may qualify for one of our extensive clinical trials — research studies that are designed to find better treatments for cancer patients based on the most updated research from around the country.