Journal Article

Management of Cervical Neoplasia in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Women

Mitchell Maiman

in JNCI Monographs

Volume 1998, issue 23, pages 43-49
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 1052-6773
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1745-6614 | DOI:
Management of Cervical Neoplasia in Human Immunodeficiency 
Virus-Infected Women

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The existence of cervical neoplasia in women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) represents one of the most serious challenges in the oncologic care of immunosuppressed patients. While the development of most cancers in the immunosuppressed patient can be attributed solely to immune deficiency, the relationship between squamous cell neoplasia of the cervix and HIV is quite unique because of common sexual behavioral risk factors. Screening strategies in HIV-positive women must take into account the high prevalence of cervical dysplasia in this subgroup as well as the limitations of cytologic screening. Cervical dysplasia in HIV-positive women may be of higher grade than in HIV-negative patients, with more extensive involvement of the lower genital tract with HPV-associated lesions. The presence and severity of cervical neoplasia in HIV-positive women correlate with both quantitative and qualitative T-cell function. Standard therapies for preinvasive cervical disease have yielded suboptimal results with high recurrence rates. While poor treatment results of standard ablative and excisional therapies warrant unique therapeutic strategies, one must recognize that close surveillance and repetitive treatment have been successful in preventing progressive neoplasia and invasive cervical carcinoma. The disease characteristics of invasive cervical carcinoma may take a more aggressive clinical course in HIV-infected women. HIV-positive women with cervical cancer have higher recurrence and death rates with shorter intervals to recurrence and death than do HIV-negative control subjects. CD4 status does influence subsequent outcome. In general, the same principles that guide the oncologic management of cervical cancer in immunocompetent patients should be applied. However, extremely close monitoring for both therapeutic efficacy and unusual toxicity must be instituted.

Journal Article.  5808 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology

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