As many as 1 in 4 patients receiving treatment for cancer and HIV may be at risk of experiencing drug-drug interactions, according to research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023.

Researchers found a higher risk of drug-drug interactions in women, patients diagnosed with cancer at a later stage, and non-Hispanic Black patients.

The researchers analyzed SEER-Medicare data from 667 patients with HIV and 1 of 4 cancer types — prostate (41%), non-small cell lung (34%), colorectal (16%), and breast (8%) cancer. 

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The cancer treatments patients received included chemotherapy (32%), hormone therapy (16%), radiation (40%), and surgery (31%). For HIV, patients received highly active antiretroviral therapy.

The researchers estimated the prevalence of exposure to a potential drug-drug interaction in the first year after cancer diagnosis. Potential interactions between systemic cancer therapies and HIV treatment were defined using pharmacist input and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. 

Overall, 8% of patients were at risk of experiencing a potential drug-drug interaction. Among patients receiving chemotherapy, 25% were at risk.

In a multivariable analysis of the patients at risk of experiencing a drug-drug interaction, the risk was higher in:

  • Patients with late-stage cancer vs early-stage cancer (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 4.66; 95% CI, 1.79-12.13)
  • Women vs men (aRR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.38-3.38)
  • Non-Hispanic Black patients vs non-Hispanic White patients (aRR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.02-3.00).

These findings “reveal a potential opportunity to improve delivery of high-quality cancer care to people with HIV and cancer,” said study author Jessica Y. Islam, PhD, of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

“Recently, guidelines were published by the NCCN providing recommendations on cancer treatment delivery to people with HIV, which included guidelines regarding DDIs [drug-drug interactions]. Future work should evaluate whether clearer guidance regarding recommended cancer care for [patients with HIV] will have any impact on this exposure to DDIs in the future.”

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Islam JY, Zhou X, Baggett C, et al. Burden of potential HIV and cancer-related treatment drug-drug interactions: An analysis of SEER-Medicare. AACR 2023. April 14-19, 2023. Abstract 745.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor