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Comment & Response
October 2017

Exclusion of Kaposi Sarcoma From Analysis of Cancer Burden

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 2AIDS Malignancy Consortium, New York, New York
  • 3David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(10):1429. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.7092

To the Editor We would like to comment on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Cancer Collaboration’s decision to attribute deaths due to Kaposi sarcoma (KS) to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS, and to exclude KS from its analysis of cancer burden.1 Although the rationale for this approach to estimating total disability-adjusted life years is understandable, applying the same approach when assessing the GBD due to cancer (and, separately, the GBD due to HIV) neglects the pathobiologic characteristics of KS2 and obscures the impact of the co-occurrence of cancer and HIV in the same individuals. This may lead to a skewed assessment of the causes of and appropriate prevention and treatment strategies for cancer in the highest-burden settings.

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