Author(s): Schim van der Loeff MF, Mooij SH, Richel O, de Vries HJ, Prins JM
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Abstract HIV infection is one of the strongest risk factors for anal squamous cell cancer (ASCC). Most ASCC are caused by HPV, and most HPV-associated ASCC are caused by HPV-16. Anal HPV infections are very common in men who have sex with men (MSM), and nearly universal among HIV-infected MSM. High-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN), the precursor for ASCC, is present in about 30 \% of HIV+ MSM, but neither the progression rate to ASCC nor the regression rate are known. The incidence rate of ASCC among HIV-infected people has risen in the first decade after cART became available, but appears to be plateauing recently. Anal cytology has poor sensitivity and specificity. High resolution anoscopy (HRA) is advocated by some as a screening tool in high-risk groups, but is cumbersome and time-consuming and it is unknown whether HRA followed by treatment of HGAIN prevents ASCC. More research is needed on progression and regression rates of HGAIN, on effective therapy of HGAIN, and on biomarkers that predict HGAIN or anal cancer. HPV vaccination and earlier start of cART may prevent most anal cancers in the long run.
This article was published in Curr HIV/AIDS Rep
and referenced in Translational Medicine