HIV Infection Worsens Survival of Patients With Cervical Cancer

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A dual diagnosis of both cancer and HIV places a greater psychosocial burden on the patient.
A dual diagnosis of both cancer and HIV places a greater psychosocial burden on the patient.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is associated with reduced cancer-specific survival among women with invasive cervical cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Because cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among women living with HIV worldwide, researchers evaluated whether HIV infection affects survival in this patient population.

Investigators enrolled 348 women living in Botswana with invasive cervical cancer, of whom 231 had HIV and 96 did not. Patients received standard treatment with external beam radiation and brachytherapy, in addition to cisplatin chemotherapy given concurrently.

Of those with HIV, about 82% received antiretroviral therapy prior to being diagnosis. Median CD4 T lymphocytes cell count for patients with HIV was 397 cells/mm3.

Median follow-up was 19.7 months; 50.7% of women with HIV and 41.7% without HIV died, each of which was attributable to cancer except for 1.

The 3-year survival of women with and without HIV was 35% (95% CI, 27-44) and 48% (95% CI, 35-60), respectively.

After adjusting for multiple variables, researchers found that HIV infection was associated with a nearly 2-fold increased risk of death among all women (hazard ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.20-3.17).

Patients with a more-limited stage cancer (P = .035), those treated with curative intent (P = .003), and those with a lower CD4 cell count (P = .036) experienced the greatest negative impact of HIV on survival.


1. Dryden-Peterson S, Bvochora-Nsingo M, Suneja G, et al. HIV infection and survival among women with cervical cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Aug 29. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.67.9613. [Epub ahead of print]

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