Montefiore, Einstein bank $111M to lead group focused on HIV-related cancers

From Crain’s Health Pulse:

Montefiore, Einstein bank $111M to lead group focused on HIV-related cancers

Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine said Tuesday that they have received a five-year, $111 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to lead the longstanding AIDS Malignancy Consortium.

The consortium has been a driving force behind national and international efforts to prevent and treat HIV-related cancers for 25 years, Montefiore and Einstein noted. The work is especially important as antiretroviral therapy to suppress HIV has helped tens of millions of people live longer and healthier lives. But the unfortunate consequence of living longer with HIV is an increased risk of cancer.

“People living with HIV shoulder an enormous burden of cancer,” said Dr. Joseph Sparano, associate chair for clinical research in the department of oncology at Montefiore, associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and principal investigator on the grant, in a statement. “AMC is the only organization worldwide solely dedicated to the study, treatment and prevention of cancer in this group of people.”

The AIDS Malignancy Consortium oversees a network of 42 clinical trial sites in the U.S., Africa and Latin America as well as scientists who support its trials, Montefiore and Einstein noted. It also runs a career program to help the next generation of leaders in the area receive resources and support. It works directly with people living with HIV and cancer to help better identify the needs of the community.

Results from its clinical trials have helped to strengthen treatment guidelines as well as to advance the prevention and management of human papillomavirus-associated cancers and the use of precision medicine and immunotherapy for people living with HIV who receive antiretroviral therapy, Montefiore and Einstein said.

“During this next phase, we will build on these successes, developing and leading additional clinical trials designed to address the most critical needs of people with HIV and cancer, precancerous disease and individuals at high risk for cancer—most importantly, completing the Anchor trial,” Sparano added.

The Anchor study focuses on the prevention and treatment of anal cancer caused by HPV. Dr. Rebecca Levine, assistant professor of surgery at Einstein and a surgical oncologist at Montefiore, is serving as the Anchor principal investigator at Einstein and Montefiore.

“We expect the results of this study will have an enormous impact on clinical care,” Levine said in a statement.

The AIDS Malignancy Consortium was previously led by the University of California, Los Angeles. —Jennifer Henderson

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