PURPOSE: Patients diagnosed as having anal cancer and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive disease were evaluated for response to treatment and its associated toxicity. METHODS: We studied nine HIV-positive patients with squamous-cell carcinoma of the anus. Among them, three patients had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The stage of disease at presentation included: one Stage 0, two Stage I, two Stage II, and four Stage III patients. Seven patients received combined modality treatment, i.e., radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and two patients received radiation therapy alone. The radiation therapy field included the pelvis and a conedown boost. Chemotherapy consisted of two cycles of 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C. Patients have been followed from 2 to 42 (median, 8) months. RE-SULTS: Seven patients achieved a complete response clinically. All Stage I/II patients and one of four Stage III patients remain alive and have no evidence of disease. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Grades 3 and 4 skin toxicity were noted in six patients, and Grades 2 and 3 myelosuppression were noted in eight patients. The response rates achieved are comparable to the experience in non-HIV patients reported in the literature, but toxicity seems to be increased. CONCLUSION: It would seem reasonable to offer combined modality treatment to early stage, HIV-positive patients with good performance status and a history of minor opportunistic infections. The value of combined modality in AIDS patients and those who present with advanced stages of the disease is questionable.
- Combined modality treatment
- Squamous-cell cancer