Lung carcinoma in 36 patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection




The current study describes the clinicopathologic characteristics of 36 patients with lung carcinoma and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection observed within the Italian Cooperative Group on AIDS and Tumors (GICAT).


Patients with lung carcinoma and HIV infection collected by the GICAT between 1986–1998 were evaluated retrospectively. As a control group, the authors analyzed 102 patients age < 60 years with lung carcinoma but without HIV infection who were seen at the CRO, National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy between 1995–1996.


Patients with lung carcinoma and HIV infection were younger (38 years vs. 53 years) and previously smoked more cigarettes per day (40 vs. 20) than the control group. The main histologic subtype was adenocarcinoma. TNM Stage III–IV disease was observed in 53% of the patients. The median CD4 cell count was 150/mm3. The median overall survival was significantly shorter in the patients with HIV compared with the control group (5 months vs. 10 months; P = 0.0001).


The results of the current study demonstrate that lung carcinoma in the HIV setting affects mainly young individuals with a history of heavy tobacco smoking and a moderately advanced immunodeficiency status. Lung carcinoma is associated with a more adverse outcome in HIV patients and represents the cause of death in the majority of these patients. Cancer 2000;88:563–9. © 2000 American Cancer Society.