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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 June;142(3):223-8

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The spectrum of skin cancers in a HIV positive population over a period of 12 years

Calista D.

Unit of Dermatology, “M. Bufalini” Hospital, Cesena, Italy


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Aim. During the last decade antiretroviral therapies have greatly changed the course of HIV disease, improving the life expectation of HIV positive subjects. However, the dark sides of this success are the complications of a lifelong immunosuppression and an increased risk of cancer. The current study was conducted to define the spectrum of skin cancers in a population of HIV positive patients over a period of 12 years.
Methods. A retrospective chart review was performed on 2 012 subjects with HIV disease living in Romagna, in the north-east of Italy, between January 1994 and December 2005. The data included the patient’s age when the skin tumour was diagnosed, gender, location, pathologic findings, clinical outcome of the neoplasms, and CD4+ cell count at skin cancer diagnosis.
Results. Among 2 012 subjects, 26 patients developed a total of 31 skin cancers. Nine basal cell carcinomas (BCC) were diagnosed in 7 patients, 11 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) in 8, cutaneous malignant melanoma in 7, Bowen’s disease in 3, erythroplasia of Queyrat was detected in 1 subject. The BCC/SCC (both in situ and invasive) ratio in our patients was 0.6.
Conclusion. In our population: 1) HIV positive subjects seem to be more prone to developing SCC; 2) HIV positive homosexuals appeared to be at higher risk for CMM in comparison with people that became HIV positive through heterosexual behaviour or drug addiction; 3) the clinical outcome of skin cancers did not appear worse than that observed in the HIV negative immunocompetent population.

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