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AIDS Associated with an Increased Risk of Some Stomach, Esophageal Cancers

April 4, 2011
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• AIDS patients have nearly a seven-fold increased risk of malignancies of the stomach compared to the general population.
• Their risk of malignancies of the esophagus is almost three times higher than in the general population.
• In both organs, these results are mainly due to a dramatically increased risk of lymphomas, but risks are also increased for carcinomas.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Among people with AIDS, the risk of stomach and esophageal malignancies is higher than among the general population, according to study results presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held here April 2-6.

“People diagnosed with AIDS are living longer due to improved therapies. However, they are at increased risk of developing a number of different cancers, including Kaposi’s sarcoma and several lymphomas. The risk of stomach and esophageal cancers in AIDS patients has not previously been fully evaluated,” said E. Christina Persson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute.

Persson and colleagues utilized data from the HIV/AIDS Cancer Match Study, a linkage of 15 U.S. population-based HIV/AIDS and cancer registries with data from 1980 through 2007. The study included 600,000 men and women diagnosed with AIDS, of whom 1,166 developed stomach malignancies and 240 developed esophageal malignancies.

Overall, people with AIDS had a 6.9-fold increased incidence of stomach malignancies compared to the general population. The risk was increased 70 percent for stomach carcinomas, with similar increases for proximal (cardia) and distal (non-cardia) carcinomas. The risk for stomach lymphomas was 36-fold higher.

The overall risk of esophageal malignancies was 2.7 times higher among people with AIDS than in the general population. Risk was increased 54 percent for squamous cell carcinomas, 101 percent for adenocarcinomas, and 261-fold for lymphomas of the esophagus.

Persson said that the increased lymphoma risk among patients with AIDS was expected, but the increased risk for carcinomas is a new finding. Additionally, the size of this study allowed the researchers to look at carcinoma subtypes.

“This study is unique because of its large size, which allowed us to look more closely at the different histologic and anatomic subsites of the tumors,” said Persson. “It will be important for us to evaluate trends in risk over time, particularly in the modern HIV treatment era.”

This abstract was presented at an AACR press conference on Monday, April 4 at 11:00 a.m. ET in room W313 of the Orange County Convention Center.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. Including Cancer Discovery, the AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. AACR journals represented 20 percent of the market share of total citations in 2009. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
(267) 646-0557
Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org
In Orlando, April 2-6:
(407) 685-4001

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