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Challenges and opportunities for treatment and research of AIDS-related malignancies in Africa

Orem, Jacksona; Otieno, Mwanda Wb; Remick, Scot Cc

doi: 10.1097/01.cco.0000239887.90665.10
Cancer in AIDS

Purpose of review Following our review of AIDS-associated cancer in developing nations in 2004, we sought to update recent publications and review data on the challenges and opportunities for the treatment and research of AIDS malignancies in Africa.

Recent findings It is apparent that the burden of AIDS-related malignancies and other virus-associated tumors is significant and increasing in Africa. Several recent studies report findings on conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma and there is a report that Hodgkin's disease, a non-AIDS-defining neoplasm, is increasing in incidence. International collaborative partnerships dedicated to AIDS malignancies in developing countries are feasible and invaluable for clinical strategies to address this aspect of the pandemic. A departure point is the ongoing work of the East Africa – Case Western Reserve University Collaboration in AIDS malignancies.

Summary The burden of neoplastic complications of HIV infection and endemic virus-associated tumors are assuming increasing significance in Africa. There is a need to develop nonmyelotoxic therapies and approaches that are hypothesis-driven and pathogenesis-based. The scarcity and shortages in this region demand that our scientific and therapeutic strategies are both suitable and pragmatic for testing in this setting. It is also imperative that African investigators lead us in this important endeavor.

aUganda Cancer Institute, Mulago Hospital and the Makerere University School of Medicine, Kampala, Uganda

bKenyatta National Hospital and the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences, Nairobi, Kenya

cCASE Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for AIDS Research, University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to Jackson Orem, MB, ChB, Uganda Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda Tel: +011 256 041 540410; e-mail:

Supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants CA83528, AI36219, TW00011, CA70081, and CA43703.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.