NCI AIDS and HIV Malignancy Research
One of the harbingers of the AIDS epidemic was a cluster of cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) in 1981, a hitherto rare tumor in the United States. Since then, it has become apparent that patients with HIV/AIDS are at increased risk of developing a number of cancers, several of which are considered “AIDS-defining” when they occur in an individual with HIV infection.
With the development of highly active combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the incidence of some of these classic “AIDS-defining” tumors, such as KS, has decreased. However, as patients are living longer with HIV in regions where cART is available, cancer is emerging as the leading cause of death in this population.
The NCI has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and NCI scientists have made a number of critical research contributions. The NCI currently supports a robust and varied research program in HIV/AIDS and HIV malignancy.