Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People with HIV with early-stage cancers are up to four times more likely to go untreated for cancer

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
People with HIV who are diagnosed with cancer are two to four times more likely to go untreated for their cancer compared to uninfected cancer patients, according to a new, large retrospective study. Life expectancy for HIV-infected people is now similar to uninfected people, but survival for HIV patients who develop cancer is not. While many studies have attempted to understand why HIV-infected cancer patients have worse outcomes, the new study examined differences in cancer treatment as one potential explanation.

People with HIV who are diagnosed with cancer are two to four times more likely to go untreated for their cancer compared to uninfected cancer patients, according to a new, large retrospective study from researchers in Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Related Articles


Life expectancy for HIV-infected people is now similar to uninfected people, but survival for HIV patients who develop cancer is not. While many studies have attempted to understand why HIV-infected cancer patients have worse outcomes, the new study, the largest of its size and scope, examined differences in cancer treatment as one potential explanation. For early-stage cancers that have the highest chance of cure with appropriate treatment, those with HIV were twice to four times as likely to not receive appropriate cancer treatment, the researchers found. HIV-infected people with lymphoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer were almost twice as likely to be untreated for cancer, even after considering differences in age, gender, race, and stage.

"In my clinical experience, I have seen uncertainty surrounding treatment of HIV-infected cancer patients," said the study's lead author, Gita Suneja, MD, an adjunct assistant professor in the department of Radiation Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and in the Abramson Cancer Center. "Patients with HIV have typically been excluded from clinical trials, and therefore oncologists do not know if the best available treatments are equally safe and effective in those with HIV. Many oncologists rely on guidelines based on such trials for treatment decision making, and in the absence of guidance, they may elect not to treat HIV-infected cancer patients due to concerns about adverse side effects or poor survival."

"This could help explain in part why many HIV-positive cancer patients are not receiving appropriate cancer care," she added.

Dr. Suneja collaborated with researchers at the NCI, as well as registrars from three states -- Connecticut, Michigan, and Texas -- that provided data to NCI's HIV/AIDS Cancer Match Study. The researchers used the data to study adults diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, or cervical, lung, anal, prostate, colorectal, or breast cancer from 1996 through 2010. Over 3,000 HIV-infected and one million uninfected cancer cases were examined.

The advent of antiretroviral therapy has changed the outlook in the fight against HIV/AIDS. People with HIV are living longer and healthier lives, and a disease that was once thought to be universally fatal has now become a chronic and manageable disease like diabetes or hypertension.

In the early era of the HIV epidemic there were reports of worse toxicity and side effects, but there are now more effective ways to support the immune system, most of them safe, tolerable and effective. Still, treatments for cancer patients with HIV can be clinically challenging due to drug interactions and the potential increase in immunosuppression from chemotherapy or radiation.

To help close the disparity gap among HIV positive patients with cancer and those not infected, cancer clinical trials should begin enrolling HIV-infected patients, the authors suggest, and cancer management guidelines should incorporate recommendations for HIV-infected patients.

"The results of this study are very concerning and require further investigation to understand why such a substantial proportion of HIV-infected cancer patients are not undergoing life-saving treatment," said Dr. Suneja. "As cancer becomes an increasingly common cause of death in the HIV population, the issue of cancer treatment in the HIV-infected cancer population will grow in importance."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Suneja, M. S. Shiels, R. Angulo, G. E. Copeland, L. Gonsalves, A. M. Hakenewerth, K. E. Macomber, S. K. Melville, E. A. Engels. Cancer Treatment Disparities in HIV-Infected Individuals in the United States. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2014; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2013.54.8644

Cite This Page:

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "People with HIV with early-stage cancers are up to four times more likely to go untreated for cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630163916.htm>.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (2014, June 30). People with HIV with early-stage cancers are up to four times more likely to go untreated for cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630163916.htm
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "People with HIV with early-stage cancers are up to four times more likely to go untreated for cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630163916.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins