Higher immune cell counts in AIDS patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) are associated a lower incidence of Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
AIDS patients are at high risk for Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer, but recent studies have found the incidence of Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been declining in people with AIDS since the introduction of HAART in 1996. This therapy usually increases the number of patients CD4 cells, also known as helper T-cells, and reduces the risks associated with infectious diseases.
Robert J. Biggar, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues assessed the relationship between cancer incidence and patients CD4 cell counts at the time of AIDS diagnosis by comparing cancer incidence in AIDS patients before and after HAART became available.
After 1996, the incidence of Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in AIDS patients decreased, while cervical cancer rates in AIDS patients increased. CD4 count was strongly associated with a decrease in Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma rates, but not with cervical cancer rates.
Our results illustrate the variable impact of immunity on the risk of AIDS-associated cancers with the range of CD4 counts in persons with AIDS, the authors write.
Contact: National Cancer Institute Press Office, 301-496-6641, email@example.com
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