Immunodeficiency Diseases Carry Greater Risk for Comorbidities

Individuals with primary immunodeficiency carry increased risk of developing a variety of cancers.

Individuals with primary immunodeficiency diseases have increased rates of cancer incidence, a recent study found.

The study compared data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER) with data from the United States Immune Deficiency Network (USIDNET) registry.

Researchers then compared cancer incidence based on gender and age. The findings were presented at The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The results of the study showed that within the USIDNET registry, these patients had a 42% increase in cancer incidence overall compared with the SEER database. Particularly, there was an increase in lymphoma cases that was 10 times higher among men and 8 times higher among women in the USIDNET registry.

“This study found that patients with primary immunodeficiency disorders have a modest increase in overall cancer incidence,” said senior study author Brahm Segal, MD. “This increased incidence was driven by specific primary immunodeficiency disorders predisposing to specific cancers, particularly lymphoma. There was no observed increase risk in the most common cancers, cancers of the breast, lung, prostate and colon.”

Furthermore, researchers found that men with a primary immunodeficiency disorder were more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid or skin cancer, while women with the disorder were more likely to be diagnosed with stomach or skin cancer.

“These data point to a restricted role of the immune system in protecting against specific cancers,” said first study author Paul Mayor, MD. “One of the many functions of the immune system is to recognize cancerous or precancerous cells in the body in order to prevent cancer from developing. This study adds to the discussion about the role of this immunosurveillance in the risk of developing the common cancers among those with compromised immune systems.”