Cancers associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in AIDS: a link between KS herpesvirus and immunoblastic lymphoma


Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), common among persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is caused by KS herpesvirus (KSHV) but whether KSHV causes other malignancies is uncertain. Using linked United States AIDS and cancer registries, we measured the incidence of specific malignancies in persons with AIDS (4–27 months after AIDS onset). We identified associations with KSHV by calculating a relative risk: cancer incidence in persons with KS (all were KSHV-infected) divided by incidence in persons without KS. Using Poisson regression, relative risks were adjusted for human immunodeficiency virus risk group, gender, age, race, and calendar year. We included 189 159 subjects (26 972 with KS). Immunoblastic lymphoma was significantly associated with KS (506 cases; relative risks: unadjusted 2.44, 95%CI 2.00–2.96, adjusted 1.58, 95%CI 1.29–1.93). Only one immunoblastic lymphoma had pleura as primary site. None of 37 other specified malignancies (other non-Hodgkin lymphomas, haematological malignancies, solid tumours) was significantly associated with KS. In summary, the association of immunoblastic lymphoma with KS was specific among examined malignancies and remained significant after statistical adjustment. Our findings, and the previously demonstrated presence of KSHV in the histologically related primary effusion lymphoma, suggest that KSHV is involved in the pathogenesis of some immunoblastic lymphomas. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign

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Engels, E., Rosenberg, P., Frisch, M. et al. Cancers associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in AIDS: a link between KS herpesvirus and immunoblastic lymphoma. Br J Cancer 85, 1298–1303 (2001).

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  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) also known as human herpesvirus 8

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