Safety Signal for Anti-TNFs

In a large population of inflammatory bowel disease patients, anti-tumor necrosis factor medications (anti-TNFs) did not increase the risk of cancer in a recent study from Denmark.  This link provides a summary of the study (JAMA 2014 June 17 [doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5613]) in GI & Hepatology News: Anti-TNFs -Safety Signal

Here’s an excerpt:

This study “assessed the risks of any cancer and 11 individual cancers, including malignant melanoma, in 56,146 IBD patients aged 15 and older…during 1999-2012, of whom 4,553 took TNF-alpha antagonists.  Median follow-up was 9.3 years…A total of 6.7% of the patients who never took TNF-alpha antagonists developed cancer during follow-up compared with 1.8% of patients who took the drugs…

Stratifying for cancer risk according to years since first exposure, no specific time-dependent pattern was observed in our study…an increased risk in the long term cannot be excluded.”

In another systemic review study (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Volume 12, Issue 9, Pages 1443–1451, September 2014) focused on pediatric IBD patients (n=5528), the authors found that “Two patients developed lymphoma (2.1/10,000 PYF). This value was … lower than the population of pediatric patients receiving thiopurine monotherapy (4.5/10,000 PYF; SIR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.03–6.44)”…”the risk of lymphoma was no greater among children with IBD who received anti-TNF therapy than those treated with other IBD therapies or adults treated with anti-TNF agents. The rate of serious infection was significantly lower among pediatric patients with IBD treated with anti-TNF agents than those treated with steroids, or adults with IBD who received anti-TNF therapy.”  Here’s the link: anti-TNF therapy with lower lymphoma risk than thiopurines in pediatrics

2 thoughts on “Safety Signal for Anti-TNFs

  1. Pingback: Cancers Complicating Inflammatory Bowel Disease | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Video for Patients: Benefits and Risks of IBD Treatment & Risks of Untreated IBD | gutsandgrowth

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