US Pharm. 2007;32(9):HS-40.
Many Cancers Signal HIV/AIDS
infection-related cancers result from immunodeficiencies than previously
thought, according to a meta-analysis reported in Lancet. Researchers
found that the incidence of 20 out of 28 malignancies, most known to be caused
by infection, were significantly greater among AIDS or HIV patients and
patients with solid organ transplants, reported Andrew E. Grulich, PhD, of the
University of New South Wales, and colleagues. Until now, only Kaposi's
sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cervical cancer were viewed as
The study included 444,172
patients with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., Europe, and Australia and 31,977
organ-transplant recipients in Europe, Australia, and Canada. Other cancer
types with higher incidences in HIV/AIDS patients included stomach, liver,
cervix uteri, vulva and vagina, penis, oral cavity, and pharynx. "The range of
infection-related cancers associated with immune deficiency is much wider than
previously appreciated and a range of infectious organism seems to be
implicated," said Dr. Grulich.
MRI for Breast Cancer
detected more breast cancers than either mammography or ultrasounds in
high-risk women; however, the method also produced nearly four times the
biopsy rate according to researchers at the University of Washington. The
study, reported in Radiology, compared the three screening modalities
in 171 asymptomatic women who carried the BRCA1 and/or BRA2
mutation or had at least a 20% chance of carrying the mutation. All six
cancers that were detected in 16 biopsies were found using MRI; two were
detected using mammography, and one cancer was found using ultrasound.
The study supports MRI "as an
important complement to manmography in screening women at high risk for breast
cancer," said the researchers. They acknowledged, however, that their study
was small and did not include long-term follow-up.
Abstinence Programs Alone
findings of earlier studies in developing regions, a review of clinical trials
in the U.S. found that abstinence-only programs to prevent HIV and pregnancy
in high-income countries are ineffective. Control groups in the trials, which
enrolled nearly 16,000 youths, included safer sex counseling, no treatment,
time-matched abstinence-plus programs, and abstinence programs without
"When compared to a variety of
control groups, the participants in these 13 abstinence-only program trials
did not report differences in risky sexual behaviors or biological outcomes,"
researchers at the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidenced-Based
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