Patients with HIV Less Likely to Receive Cancer Treatment

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Patients with HIV Less Likely to Receive Cancer Treatment
Patients with HIV Less Likely to Receive Cancer Treatment

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

Gita Suneja, MD, 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 lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, or cervical, lung, anal, prostate, colorectal, or breast cancers from 1996 to 2010 (3,045 patients with HIV and 1,087,648 patients without HIV).

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 lymphoma, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer, a significantly higher proportion of patients with HIV 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 patients with HIV 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 researchers wrote.


  1. Suneja G, Shiels MS, Angulo R, et al. Cancer Treatment Disparities in HIV-Infected Individuals in the United States. J Clin Oncol. 2014;doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.54.8644.

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