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Mortality after cancer diagnosis among HIV-infected individuals in the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS)


Increased cancer risk has been well established in several HIV-infected populations. However, studies investigating mortality after a diagnosis of cancer have been limited in size, scope, and HIV-specific risk factors.

Materials and methods

CNICS is a cohort of over 20,000 HIV-infected adults in clinical care at eight U.S. sites. We included patients with chart review verified incident cancer diagnoses between 1996 and 2009. Non-AIDS defining cancers (NADC) were categorized as infection (HPV, EBV, or HBV/HCV)-related [1]: squamous cell anal, squamous cell oral cavity/pharynx, penis, vagina/vulva, Hodgkins, and liver; or non-infection-related: all other NADCs. Death was confirmed by the National Death Index and/or state death certificate data. We examined independent predictors of mortality by employing Cox proportional hazards regression models.


918 adults with HIV and cancer were included in this analysis. 55% had AIDS-defining cancer (ADC), 15% had infection-related NADC, and 30% had non-infection related NADC. At cancer diagnosis, median age was 43 years, 50% were white, 86% male, 19% IDU, 21% HBV/HCV, 46% current smokers, and 56% current alcohol drinkers. Median CD4+ cell count was 192 cells/mm3 and HIV RNA was 3.6 log10 copies/ml. There were 395 deaths in 2,393 person-years of follow-up for a crude mortality rate of 16.5 per 100 person-years (95% CL: 15.0, 18.2). Adjusted hazard of mortality was significantly increased among individuals who were older, non-white, IDU, current or former smokers, had lower CD4+ cell count, higher HIV RNA, and non-infection related NADC (see Table 1). Figure 1 shows cumulative mortality after cancer diagnosis stratified by type of cancer.

Table 1 :
Figure 1
figure 1

Mortality after cancer diagnosis for 918 HIV+ adults by cancer type. Non-infection-related NADC is solid line, ADC is dotted line, and infection-related NADC is dashed line.


In the era of ART, unique independent predictors of mortality among individuals with HIV and cancer were level of immune suppression, degree of HIV RNA replication, and non-infection-related type of cancer. These data highlight the need to improve prevention and management of NADC in this population.


These findings are presented on behalf of the CNICS. Funding for this study was provided by NIAID and NCI.

This article has been published as part of Infectious Agents and Cancer Volume 5 Supplement 1, 2010: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Malignancies in AIDS and Other Acquired Immunodeficiencies (ICMAOI).The full contents of the supplement are available online at

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Correspondence to Chad Achenbach.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Achenbach, C., Cole, S., Casper, C. et al. Mortality after cancer diagnosis among HIV-infected individuals in the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS). Infect Agents Cancer 5 (Suppl 1), A56 (2010).

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