HealthDay News — Elderly HIV-infected patients with cancer have worse outcomes than HIV-uninfected patients with cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in JAMA Oncology.

Anna E. Coghill, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues compared cancer-specific mortality in HIV-infected and uninfected patients with cancer using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked data. A total of 308,268 patients were identified in the United States (age, ≥65 years) with nonadvanced cancers of the colorectum, lung, prostate, or breast diagnosed between 1996 and 2012, including 288 with HIV infection.

The researchers found that compared with HIV-uninfected patients, HIV-infected patients had significant elevations in the overall mortality rate for cancers of the colorectum, prostate, and breast (hazard ratios, 1.73, 1.58, and 1.50, respectively). Elevations in cancer-specific mortality were seen for prostate and breast cancer, although the increases were not statistically significant. HIV-infected men with prostate cancer had significantly higher rates of relapse or death compared with their uninfected counterparts (hazard ratio, 1.32) as did HIV-infected women with breast cancer (hazard ratio, 1.63).

“As the HIV population continues to age, the association of HIV infection with poor breast and prostate cancer outcomes will become more important, especially because prostate cancer is projected to become the most common malignancy in the HIV population by 2020,” Coghill said in a statement.

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