Back grey_arrow_rt.gif
AIDS Drugs May Fight Cervical Cancer, Study Says
  Reuters July 20, 2004
Adding to the list of benefits of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is new research that suggests the drug cocktails may also work to prevent cervical cancer, according to a new report by Linda Ahdieh-Grant, of The Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues. It is unclear whether HAART has a direct effect on precancerous cervical lesions or if it helps the immune system to naturally fight them, the researchers said.
As it destroys the body's immune system, HIV allows for the spread of a range of infections, including increased risk of cervical abnormalities called squamous intraepithelial lesions. Doctors believe these lesions, which can progress to cancer, are caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). The lesions typically clear on their own, but they are more likely to progress to cancer in HIV-infected women.
The researchers analyzed data from 2,000 women taking part in a HAART study. Prior to starting HAART, the squamous intraepithelial lesions regressed in none; after beginning HAART, the regression rate was 12.5 percent.
"These findings underscore the importance of ensuring that women who are immunosuppressed have full access to antiretroviral therapy," wrote Ahdieh-Grant and colleagues. "It should be emphasized, however, that HIV-infected women on HAART must still receive careful gynecologic follow-up and close routine monitoring," they concluded.
The full report, "Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy and Cervical Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Positive Women," was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2004;96(14):1070-1076).


Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.
  icon paper stack View Older Articles   Back to Top