The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCC) has been awarded a two-year supplement to its Cancer Center Support Grant that will provide funding for individual or collaborative pilot projects focusing on non-AIDS defining cancers (NADCs) that are now a problem in HIV patients, particularly those who are older. The purpose of these awards is to generate preliminary data that will be used for imminent NIH grant applications. Total available funding is $130,000 per year, which will be used to find 2-3 awards annually. Awardees in year 01 may apply for a second year of funding.

NADCs are not the “opportunistic malignancies” occurring at low CD4 T cell counts that used to be a criterion for diagnosing AIDS. Instead, NADCs occur in the absence of HIV-caused CD4 cell depletion in patients on effective long-term antiretroviral therapy. They can occur at higher incidence, and/or cause more morbidity and mortality, in this patient population than among uninfected persons. Such cancers, which typically include lung, liver, anal, prostate, and oropharyngeal cancers as well as melanoma and Hodgkins lymphoma, are now a major source of morbidity and mortality for older HIV-infected patients. Several of these cancers are linked to co-infections with other viruses (HPV, EBV, HBV, HCV) or to risk behaviors (smoking) common in HIV patients. Other cancers may also be NADCs; applicants wishing to focus on other cancers must provide adequate justification for their choice.

Suitable topics for pilot projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Epidemiology or clinical outcomes of NADCs in HIV patients
  • Mechanisms underlying the increased susceptibility to these cancers in HIV-infected individuals who have maintained long-term suppression of HIV
  • Differential responses to anti-cancer therapy, relative to uninfected persons
  • Identification and reduction of risk factors, including behavioral interventions
  • Survivorship issues in HIV patients with NADCs

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to utilize the resources, data, and specimens available through Northwestern University’s Third Coast Center for AIDS Research ( The Third Coast CFAR is directed by Dr. Richard D’Aquila, who is Program Manager for this pilot project program. HIV investigators wishing to identify a potential collaborator with cancer expertise, or vice versa, can contact either Benette Phillips, PhD, Scientific Program Director, LCC, ( or Fern Murdoch, PhD, Asst. Director for University Interactions and Strategic Growth, Third Coast CFAR (

Application instructions: Using Ariel 11 font throughout, applicants should submit a 3-5 page proposal, consisting of an abstract, background, preliminary data (not required, include if available), research design and methods, relevance to non-AIDS defining cancers, and possible future directions, including plans to apply for national funding. Where applicable, include a plan for data analysis. The page limits exclude references. The application should also include a detailed budget, budget justification, and NIH-formatted biosketches for all PIs and key personnel. At least one of the project PIs must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member and a Lurie Cancer Center member. Applications, which should be sent electronically to Benette Phillips, PhD ( are due on Wednesday, November 16. We strongly recommend that requests for IRB/ACUC approval be initiated at the time of application. Although approval information is not required in the application, funds cannot be made available until such approval is obtained.


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