Forghieri F, et al. Int J Mol Sci 2020 - Review.
Both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may be considered relatively uncommon disorders in the general population, but the precise incidence of AML in people living with HIV infection (PLWH) is uncertain. However, life expectancy of newly infected HIV-positive patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is gradually increasing, rivaling that of age-matched HIV-negative individuals, so that the occurrence of AML is also expected to progressively increase. Even if HIV is not reported to be directly mutagenic, several indirect leukemogenic mechanisms, mainly based on bone marrow microenvironment disruption, have been proposed. Despite a well-controlled HIV infection under ART should no longer be considered per se a contraindication to intensive chemotherapeutic approaches, including allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, in selected fit patients with AML, survival outcomes are still generally unsatisfactory. We discussed several controversial issues about pathogenesis and clinical management of AML in PLWH, but few evidence-based answers may currently be provided, due to the limited number of cases reported in the literature, mainly as case reports or small retrospective case series. Prospective multicenter clinical trials are warranted to more precisely investigate epidemiology and cytogenetic/molecular features of AML in PLWH, but also to standardize and further improve its therapeutic management.