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Head and neck cancer in patients with human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection: incidence, outcome and association with Epstein-Barr virus

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2006

T. Powles
Affiliation:
Department of Oncology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
J. Powles
Affiliation:
Department of ENT Surgery, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
M. Nelson
Affiliation:
Department of HIV Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
A. Sandison
Affiliation:
Department of Histopathology, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
D. Peston
Affiliation:
Department of ENT Surgery, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK
J. Buchannan
Affiliation:
Department of Oncology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
S. Mandalia
Affiliation:
Department of Oncology, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
B. Gazzard
Affiliation:
Department of HIV Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
M. Bower
Affiliation:
Department of HIV Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
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Abstract

Head and neck cancers have been described in patients with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. However the incidence, aetiology and clinical features of the disease remain unclear.

Patients with head and neck cancer and HIV were identified from a large HIV centre. The incidence and clinical features were recorded, and the tumours were stained for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Head and neckcancer occurred more frequently than in an age-matched control group (1.66 vs 0.55/10,000 patient years respectively p < 0.05). Highly active anti-retroviral therapy has not significantly altered the incidence of the disease. All of the tumours tested were positive for EBV. Patients were moderately immunosuppressed at diagnosis and had aggressive tumours. All but one of the patients died of cancer with a median survival of 28 months.

Head and neck cancer occurs more frequently in HIV. It is an aggressive disease and EBV may play a role in its pathogenesis.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Royal Society of Medicine Press Limited 2004

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