HIV-Associated Anal Cancer: Has Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy Reduced the Incidence or Improved the Outcome?

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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.

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