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Table 1 Examples of virally associated neoplasms reported in HIV-infected individuals, response to checkpoint blockade and mechanisms of action as well as mechanisms of action

From: Remembering the forgotten child: the role of immune checkpoint inhibition in patients with human immunod eficiency virus and cancer

Cancer Virus Immunotherapy Response Rate (n/total n) (X%) Common Side Effects
Anal Cancer Human Papilloma Virus Nivolumab 1/2; 50% [2] Anemia, fatigue, rash, hypothyroidism
Burkitt’s lymphoma Epstein Barr Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
Central nervous system lymphoma Epstein Barr Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
Cervical Cancer Human Papilloma Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
Hodgkin disease Epstein Barr Virus Nivolumab 1/1; 100% [3] Not reported
Kaposi Sarcoma Human Herpes Virus-8 Nivolumab or pembrolizumab 6/9; 67% [4] Fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort, pruritis, onycholysis
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus multicentric Castleman disease Human Herpes Virus-8 Not reported Not reported Not reported
Merkel Cell Carcinoma Merkel Cell Polyomavirus pembrolizumab or avelumab 2/2; 100% [5, 6] Pneumonitis
Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Epstein Barr Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
Penile Cancer Human Papilloma Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
Plasmablastic lymphoma Epstein Barr Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
Primary effusion lymphoma Human Herpes Virus-8 Not reported Not reported Not reported
Vulvar Cancer Human Papilloma Virus Not reported Not reported Not reported
  1. Biologic mechanisms that are amenable to immune checkpoint blockade associated with cancers in HIV-infected patients
  2. Viral antigens presented by host cells are recognized as foreign [1]
  3. CD4+ T cells in HIV-positive patients have increased expression of the checkpoints CTLA-4 and PD-19,11
  4. The host DNA damage response is impaired in virally-mediated cancers [12]
  5. APOBEC-related mutagenesis is associated with viruses and increases neopeptide hydrophobicity/immunogenicity and correlates with higher levels of PD-L1 expression [7, 8]