ARVs and targeted cancer therapies

This news item highlights the challenge of administering both the new cancer therapies and antiretroviral drugs. [1]

In 2009 John Deeken and colleagues presented an overview of the disposition of the targeted anticancer drugs imatinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, erlotinib, bortezomib, sorafenib, temsirolimus, sunitanib and lapatinib and suggested the potential for marked drug-drug interactions with some antiretrovirals. [2]

In the present news item, there is mention of an on ongoing trial between sunitinib and a) a boosted PI and b) efavirenz.  The AIDS Malignancy Consortium at the NCI is now planning investigation of interactions with at least three other cancer drugs – vorinostat, sorasenib and dasatinib.  The bottom line is that there is an urgent need to define drug-drug interactions for HIV and cancer.


  1. Schmidt C. The cancer-HIV/AIDS treatment conundrum. J Nat Cancer Institute, 2010, 102(21): 1615-1617.
  2. Deakin JF et al. Targeted therapies to treat non-AIDS-defining cancers in patients with HIV on HAART therapy: treatment considerations and research outlook. Curr Opin Oncol. 2009 Sep;21(5):445-54.

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