HIV-Associated Malignancies

 The HU CFAR and the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) have joined forces to support high-risk, high-impact feasibility studies in HIV-associated malignancies. Four pilot grants are being funded through an NIH supplement to the HU CFAR award. This project promotes innovative, cooperative work between these two centers while creating a powerful platform to study the treatment of HIV-associated cancers.


  • Initiating a Harvard-wide symposium
  • Novel uses of existing data sets and specimens
  • Encouraging research collaboration through competitive pilot grants in areas such as oncogenic viruses, international epidemiology and outcomes, and HIV curative strategies
  • Sharing available core resources

HU CFAR Supplement Awardees

Scott Lee Dryden-Peterson, M.D.

Scott Dryden-Peterson

HPV and HIV-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in Botswana

Head and neck cancer is the second most common cancer in men in Botswana and is increasingly common worldwide. The increase in southern Africa may be related to HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the project will study the roles of these infections. The results are anticipated to inform preventative and treatment strategies.

With a novel collaboration of investigators at the DFCI, HSPH, Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute, BWH, and Botswana Ministry of Health, the project aims to examine the influence of HIV and HPV in the development of HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma). 

Eoin Rua Feeney, M.B., Ch.B

Eoin Feeney

Effect of HIV-HCV co-infection on expression of genes involved in HCC development

HIV-HCV co-infection is associated with accelerated development of liver diseases and a rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This proposal will investigate of a novel gene signature associated with HCC development in an animal model of HIV-HCV co-infection. This will provide key information on the pathogenesis of HCC development in HIV infection and offer potential therapeutic and biomarker targets. 

Esther Ellen Freeman, M.D.

Esther Freeman

Epidemiology of the treatment of Kaposi’s sarcoma in Africa in the ART era

Kaposi’s sarcoma is one of the most common cancers in sub-Saharan Africa, and, if untreated, has very poor survival. Findings from this work will describe in depth the current terrain regarding therapy for KS, especially chemotherapy, across sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda). Moreover, we anticipate that it will form the basis for advocacy efforts to improve access to better therapy for KS throughout the African continent.

David Mahan Knipe, Ph.D.

David Knipe

Integrase Inhibitors and KSHV Replication

Kaposi’s sarcoma, caused by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus or KSHV, is a major malignancy associated with AIDS. In this research we will identify new molecules that inhibit KSHV replication that could serve as new drugs to combat KSHV infection.