“People diagnosed with AIDS are living longer due to improved therapies. However, they remain at increased risk of developing a number of different cancers,” said Christina Persson of the US National Cancer Institute and lead author of this study. “An elevated risk of oesophageal and stomach cancers had been observed before, but we were able to look at risk for subtypes of these malignancies.”
In the study, researchers analysed data from the HIV/AIDS Cancer Match Study, which links data collected from 1980 to 2007 for 16 population-based HIV/AIDS and cancer registries in the United States. They compared risks of stomach and oesophageal cancers in 596 955 people with HIV/AIDS with those of the general population.
Those with HIV/AIDS had a 69 percent and 44 percent increased risk of oesophageal and stomach cancers, respectively. The risks of NHLs ‘ tumours of immune cells ‘ in the stomach and oesophagus were also strongly elevated. Additionally, the researchers’ analysis showed a significant 53 percent increased risk of cancer of the lower stomach in people with HIV/AIDS. Since Helicobacter pylori infection is one of the causes of this type of stomach cancer, one explanation for an increased risk of this cancer might be an increased prevalence of H. pylori in people with HIV/AIDS.