HIV infection is not associated with the initiation of curative treatment in women with cervical cancer in Botswana
BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Sub-Saharan Africa. The risk of developing cancer is increased for women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It is unknown which factors predict the initiation of curative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in resource-limited settings and whether HIV is associated with initiating curative CRT in settings with a high HIV burden.
METHODS: All women living with and without HIV infection who were initiating curative and noncurative CRT for locally advanced cervical cancer in Botswana were prospectively enrolled in an observational study. The factors associated with receiving CRT were evaluated in all patients and the subgroup of women living with HIV.
RESULTS: Of 519 enrolled women, 284 (55%) initiated CRT with curative intent. The curative cohort included 200 women (70.4%) who were living with HIV and had a median CD4 count of 484.0 cells/muL (interquartile range, 342.0-611.0 cells/muL). In the noncurative cohort, 157 of 235 women (66.8%) were living with HIV and had a median CD4 count of 476.5 cells/muL (interquartile range, 308.0-649.5 cells/muL). HIV status was not associated with initiating curative CRT (odds ratio [OR], 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58-1.56). The factors associated with receiving curative CRT treatment on multivariable analysis in all patients included baseline hemoglobin levels >/=10 g/dL (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.18-2.74) and stage I or II versus stage III or IV disease (OR, 3.16; 95% CI, 2.10-4.75). Women aged >61 years were less likely to receive curative treatment (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24-0.75). Among women who were living with HIV, higher CD4 cell counts were associated with higher rates of CRT initiation.
CONCLUSIONS: The initiation of CRT with curative intent does not depend on HIV status. Significant predictors of CRT initiation include baseline hemoglobin level, disease stage, and age.