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January 3, 2011

Cohort Highlights Factors Linked to Lower Risk of Cancer Death in HIV

POZ: "CD4 counts, before starting ARV treatment, were low among those who developed invasive cancer—the average was 45 cells. Most (92 percent) patients were on ARV therapy at the time of their cancer diagnosis, with CD4s averaging 204 cells and viral loads averaging 400 copies. ...

"The risk of death was lowest among those who had higher CD4 counts at cancer diagnosis and viral loads less than or equal to 400. The risk was also lowest among those who actually received treatment for their cancer(s), and those who had infection-related cancers--such as human papillomavirus-associated anal cancer and Epstein-Barr virus-related lymphoma—compared with cancers not associated with an infection (such as lung cancer). ...

"One of the more sobering, yet manageable, findings of the study was that more than 50 percent of the people living with HIV diagnosed with cancer in the cohort had stage IV disease at the time of diagnosis. In addition, at least 25 percent of patients received no treatment.

"'This is surprising,' Achenbach and his colleagues write, 'as individuals in this study were receiving [ARV treatment] in specialized HIV clinics and routinely engaged in care with quarterly monitoring on average. Although it is possible that HIV infection and associated immune system dysfunction accelerate the rate of cancer progression to advanced and untreatable states, our findings could be explained by poor cancer awareness, inadequate screening practices, or lack of prompt therapy.'"


Anonymous said...

Cancer requires "prompt therapy", but the very thing needed to PREVENT cancer (the Immune Systems) can be destroyed by years of HIV infection before starting HIV treatments.

Uf Duh!