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Cancer Patients with HIV Have More Options


Cancer patients with HIV often requires complex care. Miami Cancer Institute, now a member of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), recently opened an HIV/Cancer Clinic, providing better access to new clinical trials as well as coordinated, multidisciplinary care in one location.

Marco Ruiz, MD

Marco Ruiz, M.D., chief of HIV Oncology and HIV Stem Cell Transplantation at Miami Cancer Institute

“The attention to detail for patients with HIV and cancer is critical,” says Marco Ruiz, M.D., the Institute’s chief of HIV Oncology and HIV Stem Cell Transplantation. Dr. Ruiz specializes in the treatment of hematologic cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis, as well as cancer combined with HIV.

Miami Cancer Institute is offering five clinical trials through the AMC and hopes to add others soon, Dr. Ruiz says. “Another factor that makes the Institute unique is that we offer stem cell transplantation for those infected with HIV and certain cancers. This is showing great promise as a cure for both diseases.”

The Institute has a number of cancer clinics under one roof so that patients can see multiple specialists and caregivers in one visit. Because Florida has the third highest number of HIV-infected residents among U.S. states, the development of the HIV-Cancer Clinic and the addition of the Institute to the AMC is particularly significant, according to another of the Institute’s physician-leaders.

“There are many people who will benefit from this expertise,” says Guenther Koehne, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director and chief of Blood & Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Oncology at the Institute. “These are exciting steps forward in improving care for HIV-infected cancer patients.”

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