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June 27, 2001

Breast Cancer in Women With HIV/AIDS

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(24):3090-3091. doi:10.1001/jama.285.24.3090

To the Editor: Drs Frisch and colleagues1 reported that breast cancer was the only malignancy, at least in women, to exhibit a statistically significant pattern of decreasing relative risk (RR) with increasing amounts of time following a diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A recent study also found a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of breast cancer, in both men and women, following the AIDS epidemic in Tanzania.2 Furthermore, some studies3 have found that immunosuppressed transplant recipients have a diminished incidence of breast cancer relative to other malignancies. This is contrary to what one would expect, since human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection theoretically increases the susceptibility to malignancy because of an acquired deficiency in immunosurveillance of tumor cells and/or an increased susceptibility to oncogenic viruses.