BACKGROUND: Preclinical studies suggest that the antiretroviral agent, nelfinavir mesylate (NFV), may have antineoplastic properties. The relationship between NFV and cancer incidence among HIV-infected patients is unknown. METHODS: We evaluated the impact of NFV on cancer development in a large cohort of HIV-infected persons with 108 cancer events during 13,421 person-years of follow-up. Using multivariate time-updated Cox proportional hazard models, the risk of cancer among those receiving NFV were compared to those on non-NFV antiretroviral regimens. RESULTS: The risk of cancer among those receiving NFV was similar to those on non-NFV antiretroviral regimens (hazard ratio 1.0, 95% confidence interval 0.5, 1.7, P = 0.90). We also examined AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining cancers separately and found no significant associations between NFV use and cancer risk. Antiretroviral use, with or without a protease inhibitor (PI) component, was associated with a reduced risk of AIDS-defining cancers compared with no antiretroviral therapy; however, the risk of cancer was the same among those using PI or PI-sparing regimens. DISCUSSION: Despite reports that NFV may have tumoricidal activity, we found no significant relationship between NFV or PI use compared with other antiretrovirals and the risk of developing cancer among a large cohort of HIV-infected persons.
- Protease inhibitor