Shiels M.S., Copeland G., Goodman M.T., Harrell J., Lynch C.F., Pawlish K., Pfeiffer R.M., Engels E.A.
Cancer 2015 121:12 (2063-2071)
BACKGROUND It is unknown whether immunosuppression results in more aggressive, advanced stage cancers. Because cancer stage is influenced both by tumor biology and medical surveillance, the authors assessed cancer stage in individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and solid organ transplant recipients, 2 immunosuppressed groups with differences in their health care use. METHODS The authors used data on all cases of 15 cancer types diagnosed during 1996 through 2010 in 2 studies that linked US cancer registries with HIV and transplant registries. Odds ratios (ORs) for advanced (vs local) disease were estimated comparing HIV and transplant populations with immunocompetent individuals in polytomous logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, race, registry, and year. RESULTS A total of 8411 of 4.5 million cancer cases occurred in HIV-infected individuals and 7322 of 6.4 million cancer cases occurred in transplant recipients. Compared with immunocompetent patients with cancer, those infected with HIV were more likely to be diagnosed with distant stage lung (OR, 1.13), female breast (OR, 1.99), and prostate (OR, 1.57) cancers, whereas transplant recipients had fewer distant stage lung (OR, 0.54), female breast (OR, 0.75), and prostate (OR, 0.72) cancers. Both immunosuppressed populations had a shift toward advanced stage melanoma (ORs of 1.97 for HIV-infected individuals and 1.82 for transplant recipients) and bladder cancer (ORs of 1.42 for HIV-infected individuals and 1.54 for transplant recipients). CONCLUSIONS Bladder cancer and melanoma were more likely to be diagnosed at a nonlocal stage in both HIV-infected individuals and transplant recipients, suggesting a role for immunosuppression in their progression. In addition, we observed a shift for some common cancers toward later stages in HIV-infected individuals and toward earlier stages in transplant recipients, which is consistent with differential access to medical care or surveillance. Cancer 2015;121:2063-2071.