Cancer risk in HIV, transplant patients

July 06, 2007

HIV/AIDS and kidney transplant patients are at much greater risk of contracting 20 different types of cancer than the general population, according to a land mark paper in The Lancet.

The research, which is led by Professor Andrew Grulich from the University of New South Wales' National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (NCHECR), suggests that immune deficiency - which is common to the two groups - is responsible for the increased risk.

The paper is the first in the world to compare cancer rates between the populations.

HIV/AIDS patients are 11 times more likely to develop Hodgkin's lymphoma - a cancer associated with Epstein Barr Virus - while there is almost four times the risk for those who have a transplant.

There are a number of cancers associated with human papilloma virus, from cervical cancer to cancers of the mouth, penis and anus. In both these populations, all of these cancers were significantly increased.

"The only thing that people with AIDS and transplant recipients share is immune deficiency, otherwise their risk factors for cancer differ markedly," said the lead author, Professor Grulich, of the paper, which has been selected for editorial comment in the journal.

"In other cancers, which are not linked with viruses, such as breast and prostate cancer, both groups had similar rates to the general population," he said.

"Until now, the accepted wisdom was that there were only three cancers associated with HIV - this paper finds that it is more like 20."

One of those three cancers which was already known to be linked with HIV is Kaposi's sarcoma. In that population, there is a 3,640-fold increased likelihood for patients to develop the disease. This research shows that there is also a marked increase in transplant patients - they are 208 times more likely to develop the cancer than the general population.

Professor Grulich suggests the results could have implications for the way HIV/AIDS patients are treated.

"This evidence suggests that immune deficiency is associated with risk of cancer and this suggests we need to maintain people's immune systems at a higher level - and that might mean putting HIV patients on anti-retroviral drugs earlier than is currently the case," he said.

The researchers now plan to look at cancer rates of those with congenital immune deficiency and people who have received other transplanted organs.
-end-


University of New South Wales

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.