(HealthDay News) — HIV-infected individuals with cancer are less likely to receive treatment, according to a study published online June 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Gita Suneja, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues used HIV and cancer registry data to examine cancer treatment disparities in HIV-infected individuals in the United States. Data were collected for adults diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or cervical, lung, anal, prostate, colorectal, or breast cancers from 1996 to 2010 (3,045 HIV-infected patients and 1,087,648 patients without HIV infection). After adjustment for cancer stage and demographic covariates, the correlation between HIV status and cancer treatment was examined.

The researchers found that, for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer, a significantly higher proportion of HIV-infected patients did not receive cancer treatment (adjusted odds ratios, 1.67, 2.18, 1.77, 1.79, and 2.27, respectively). There was a correlation between HIV infection and a lack of standard treatment modality for local-stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, and colon cancer (adjusted odds ratios, 2.02, 2.43, and 4.77, respectively). Factors independently associated with lack of cancer treatment among HIV-infected individuals included low CD4 count, male sex with injection drug use as mode of HIV exposure, age 45 to 64 years, black race, and distant or unknown cancer stage.

“HIV-infected individuals are less likely to receive treatment for some cancers than uninfected people, which may affect survival rates,” the authors write.

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