Top 10 Practice Changers in Gastroenterology: 2014

David A. Johnson, MD


December 09, 2014

In This Article

Association Between Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Antagonists and Risk of Cancer in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Nyboe Andersen N, Pasternak B, Basit S, et al
JAMA. 2014;311:2406-2413

Do Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Agents Cause Cancer?

The risk for secondary cancers arising in patients taking tumor necrosis factor-(TNF)-alpha antagonists has been a concern. Recent study findings suggest that thiopurine use increased the risk for lymphoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but that the use of anti-TNF agents did not.

This cohort study evaluated a Danish national registry, evaluating 56,146 patients aged ≥ 15 years with IBD. The data are consistent with recent study findings and are reassuring, because there was no signal for increased cancer risk associated with anti-TNF agents. Patients can be advised that although there is a definite increased risk for lymphoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers with thiopurines, the use of anti-TNF agents is not definitely associated with an increased risk for any cancer.



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