Recent studies have identified durable responses with the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with mismatch repair-deficient (MMR-D)/microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). The dramatic improvement in clinical outcomes led to the US Food and Drug Administration approval of pembrolizumab, nivolumab, and nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab in metastatic patients with MSI-H/MMR-D CRC who previously experienced progression on cytotoxic therapies. In the clinical trials investigating these agents, HIV-seropositive patients were not included and therefore the clinical efficacy of these agents in patients with metastatic MSI-H/MMR-D CRC living with HIV is unclear. On the basis of growing evidence, immune checkpoint blockade therapies seem to be a safe approach in patients with well-controlled HIV infection. Research on immunotherapeutic approaches in patients living with HIV and cancer is an area of unmet medical need that can be addressed by clinical trial designs that are inclusive of patients with well-controlled seropositive HIV and trials that specifically evaluate immune therapies in patients living with HIV.
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