DOI: 10.3390/pathogens13010014 ISSN: 2076-0817

Antibody and Cell-Based Therapies against Virus-Induced Cancers in the Context of HIV/AIDS

Julie Joseph, Grace Sandel, Ratuja Kulkarni, Reem Alatrash, Bobby Brooke Herrera, Pooja Jain
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Infectious agents, notably viruses, can cause or increase the risk of cancer occurrences. These agents often disrupt normal cellular functions, promote uncontrolled proliferation and growth, and trigger chronic inflammation, leading to cancer. Approximately 20% of all cancer cases in humans are associated with an infectious pathogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recognizes seven viruses as direct oncogenic agents, including Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV), Kaposi’s Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1), human papilloma virus (HPV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Most viruses linked to increased cancer risk are typically transmitted through contact with contaminated body fluids and high-risk behaviors. The risk of infection can be reduced through vaccinations and routine testing, as well as recognizing and addressing risky behaviors and staying informed about public health concerns. Numerous strategies are currently in pre-clinical phases or undergoing clinical trials for targeting cancers driven by viral infections. Herein, we provide an overview of risk factors associated with increased cancer incidence in people living with HIV (PLWH) as well as other chronic viral infections, and contributing factors such as aging, toxicity from ART, coinfections, and comorbidities. Furthermore, we highlight both antibody- and cell-based strategies directed against virus-induced cancers while also emphasizing approaches aimed at discovering cures or achieving complete remission for affected individuals.

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