Back to overview

Is nelfinavir exposure associated with cancer incidence in HIV-positive individuals?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Boettiger David C, Sabin Caroline A, Grulich Andrew, Ryom Lene, Bonnet Fabrice, Reiss Peter, Monforte Antonella d'arminio, Kirk Ole, Phillips Andrew, Bower Mark, Fätkenheuer Gerd, Lundgren Jens D, Law Matthew,
Project Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS)
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal AIDS (London, England)
Volume (Issue) 30(10)
Page(s) 1629 - 37
Title of proceedings AIDS (London, England)
DOI 10.1097/qad.0000000000001053

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Nelfinavir exhibits potent anticancer properties against a range of tumours. However, in 2006/2007, nelfinavir supplies were accidently contaminated with a carcinogen. This analysis investigated the association between nelfinavir use and cancer risk in HIV-positive persons. Observational cohort study. D:A:D study data was analysed using Poisson regression models to examine associations between cancer incidence and cumulative nelfinavir exposure, current nelfinavir exposure, and exposure to nelfinavir between 1 July 2006-30 June 2007. A total of 42 006 individuals (50% white, 73% male) contributed 303 005 person-years of follow-up between 1 January 2004 and 1 February 2014. At study enrolment, median age was 40 [interquartile range (IQR) 33-46] years and 8305 individuals had a history of nelfinavir use [median duration 1.7 (IQR 0.7-3.4) years]. During follow-up, nelfinavir was used by 2476 individuals for a median of 1.7 (IQR 0.7-3.8) years; 1063 were exposed to nelfinavir between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2007. Overall, 2279 cancers were diagnosed at a rate of 0.75 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.72-0.78] per 100 person-years. Neither greater cumulative exposure to nelfinavir [adjusted risk ratio (aRR) 0.93 for every additional 5 years, 95% CI 0.82-1.06, P = 0.26] nor current use of nelfinavir (aRR 0.98 vs other protease inhibitor use, 95% CI 0.68-1.41, P = 0.92) were associated with cancer risk. The adjusted risk of cancer for participants exposed to nelfinavir between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2007 compared to those receiving other treatment over this period was 1.07 (95% CI 0.78-1.46, P = 0.68). Nelfinavir use was not associated with a lower cancer incidence than other protease inhibitor regimens. As of February 2014, exposure to the 2006/2007 contamination of nelfinavir does not appear to be associated with increased cancer incidence.