HIV-associated anal cancer: has highly active antiretroviral therapy reduced the incidence or improved the outcome?

Bower M, Powles T, Newsom-Davis T, Thirlwell C, Stebbing J, Mandalia S, Nelson M, Gazzard B.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Dec 15;37(5):1563-5. doi: 10.1097/00126334-200412150-00004.

BACKGROUND: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has reduced the incidence and improved the survival of patients with Kaposi sarcoma and AIDS-related non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We wished to evaluate its effects on incidence and survival in HIV-associated anal cancer. METHODS: We measured the incidence and survival of patients with invasive anal cancer from our prospective cohort of 8640 HIV-seropositive individuals. RESULTS: In our cohort of 8640 HIV-seropositive individuals, the incidence of invasive anal cancer (diagnosed in 26 patients) is 60 per 100,000 patient-years. This is 120 times higher than in the age- and gender-matched general population. The incidence of invasive anal cancer in the HIV cohort was 35 (95% confidence interval CI: 15-72) per 100,000 patient-years of follow-up in the pre-HAARTera (1984-1995) and 92 (95% CI: 52-149) per 100,000 patient-years of follow-up in the post-HAARTera (1996-2003) (P > 0.05). These figures are significantly higher than those for the general population (P < 0.001 for both) and give a relative risk of 67 and 176 in the pre- and post-HAART eras, respectively, compared with the general population. The 5-year overall survival is 47% (95% CI: 24%-70%), and the 5-year disease-free survival is 66% (95% CI: 45%-87%). There is no difference in overall survival between the pre- and post-HAART eras (log rank P = 0.19). CONCLUSIONS: Unlike other HIV-associated cancers, there has been no significant change in the incidence, clinical features, or overall survival since the introduction of HAART.

PMID: 15577408

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.