June 13, 2013
Researchers investigated the incidence and timing of cancer diagnoses among patients who began triple-drug antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 1996 and 2011. The researchers reviewed the records of approximately 11,500 persons, examined trends in cancer incidence for up to 10 years after treatment initiation, and investigated factors associated with a cancer diagnosis.
The researchers divided cancers into different categories: AIDS-defining cancers (Kaposi's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cervical cancer); non-AIDS-defining cancers; lymphomas; cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV); other virus-related cancers; and virus-unrelated cancers. Patients were mostly male (80 percent) and racially diverse. Median age at which they started ART was 38 years and most patients were immunosuppressed when they began treatment. The researchers followed patients for a median of three years and followed 10 percent of patients for 10 years.
Data showed 457 cancer diagnoses in 46,318 person-years of follow-up, which provided an incidence rate of 987 cases per 100,000 person-years.
Results show that ART improvements did not affect the incidence of cancer in patients with HIV infection. The researchers contended that results emphasized the need for early HIV diagnosis, prevention measures such as vaccines, and cancer screening for persons with HIV.
The full report, "Incidence and Timing of Cancer in HIV-Infected Individuals Following Initiation of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy," was published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (2013; doi: 10.1093/cid/cit369).
06.12.2013; Michael Carter