The Solid Tumor (formerly Non-AIDS Defining Cancers) Working Group, organized in 2009, is the newest working group within the AMC. As the number of long-term survivors with HIV infection continues to expand and age, we are now beginning to find that other cancers common in the general population, but not associated with HIV infection, are occurring more commonly and now surpass the number of HIV-associated cancers. Examples of non-AIDS defining cancers include liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), lung cancer, and head/neck cancer.
The Solid Tumor Working Group was organized in order to address this important issue. This is a complex problem because of the large number of different cancer types with diverse causes, the increasing number of new anti-cancer agents that have been approved within the past 10 years, and the fact that patients with HIV infection have generally been excluded from participating in clinical trials evaluating standard and new therapeutic options.
The current goals of the STWG are to:
- Evaluate the effectiveness and safety of recently approved anti-cancer agents, and identify whether there are any significant interactions between these new agents and drugs used to treat HIV infection.
- Evaluate the most promising experimental new agents in HIV-infected individuals with advanced, incurable cancers, including effective agents that are currently being tested in clinical trials that generally exclude HIV-infected individuals.
- Facilitate inclusion of patients with HIV infection and cancer into clinical trials evaluating the most modern cancer treatments by removing barriers to enrollment into National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trials.
- Identify gaps in our knowledge about the biological characteristics of cancers in HIV infected individuals compared with cancers occurring in the general population.
- Identify factors or behaviors that contribute to cancer risk, and introduce interventions that may reduce cancer risk.