What to Expect When Receiving Cancer Treatment as an HIV-positive Patient
Cancer treatment for HIV-positive patients is highly individualized and disease specific, depending on the
type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, and your own personal medical
condition and response to therapy. Most often you will receive a
combination of treatment modalities, under close supervision from your team
of doctors. Some representative treatment scenarios follow.
Treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) that develops in the presence of
anti-retroviral therapy can include topical gel, radiotherapy and
intralesional therapy (chemotherapy injected directly into the lesion) for
localized disease. Surgical removal may also be an option for some lesions.
If you have advanced KS, you may benefit from standard chemotherapy or from
new drugs and therapies in a
AIDS-related lymphoma includes a diverse group of malignancies, although
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the most common in the HIV setting. Today's
improved anti-retroviral therapy allows for safer and more effective
standard-dose chemotherapy. Depending upon the extent of your disease,
high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant may be the best treatment
option, along with clinical trial protocols.
BIDMC is a leader in stem cell and
bone marrow transplants, and in treatments for
lymphoma and other blood cancers.
Treatment for human papillomavirus-related cancers — such as
and oral cancers — could include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy,
clinical trials. BIDMC is a leader in the treatment of these cancers.
Non-AIDS Defining Cancers
As anti-retroviral therapy has improved, and people are living longer with
immunodeficiencies, other cancers common in the general population — but
not associated with HIV infection — are occurring with greater frequency
than HIV-associated cancers. Non-AIDS defining cancers include
lung, head and neck cancer. Treatments vary and may include clinical trial
BIDMC is renowned for our expertise in treating liver cancer, including
liver transplantation, and for minimally invasive surgery and
interventional procedures related to lung cancer. Experts here also offer
comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for head and neck cancers.