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Keywords:

  • epidemiology;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • salivary gland cancer;
  • nasopharyngeal cancer;
  • lymphoepithelial carcinoma;
  • EBV-related malignancies

Abstract

Individuals with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) manifest an increased risk of cancer, particularly cancers caused by oncogenic viruses. Because some salivary gland and nasopharyngeal cancers are associated with Epstein Barr virus, the impact of AIDS on these cancers needs further evaluation. We used linked U.S. AIDS and cancer registry data (N = 519,934 people with AIDS) to derive standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) comparing risk of salivary gland and nasopharyngeal cancers to the general population. For salivary gland cancers (N = 43 cases), individuals with AIDS had strongly elevated risks for lymphoepithelial carcinoma (SIR 39, 95% CI 16–81) and squamous cell carcinoma (SIR 4.9, 95% CI 2.5–8.6). Among nasopharyngeal cancers (N = 39 cases), risks were elevated for both keratinizing and nonkeratinizing carcinomas (SIR 2.4, 95% CI 1.5–3.7 and SIR 2.4, 95% CI 1.2–4.4, respectively). The elevated risks of salivary gland and nasopharyngeal cancers among people with AIDS suggest that immunosuppression and oncogenic viral infections are etiologically important.