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Incidences of overall and site specific cancers in TNFα inhibitor treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritides – a follow-up study from the DANBIO Registry


Objectives To investigate the incidence of cancer in arthritis patients treated with or without TNFα inhibitors (TNF-I).

Methods Arthritis patients from the DANBIO database were followed-up for cancer in the Danish Cancer Registry during 2000–2008.

Results Hazard ratio for cancer overall was 1.02 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80-1.30) in 3347 TNF-I-treated RA patients compared to non-treated. Excess among TNF-I-treated was found for colon cancer (HR 3.52 (95%CI 1.11-11.15), whereas 6 and 0 ovarian cancer cases were observed in treated and non-treated patients, respectively. Compared to the general population, TNF-I-treated RA patients had increased risk for cancer overall, cancer in lymphatic-haematopoietic tissue and non-melanoma skin cancer, while non-RA patients had no increase in overall cancer risk.

Conclusions Our results suggest that TNF-I therapy in routine care is not associated with an overall excess of cancer in arthritis patients, but observed increased risks of colon and ovarian cancer need further investigation.

  • Anti-TNF
  • Treatment
  • Epidemiology
  • DMARDs (biologic)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

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