Short-and longer-term cancer risks with biologic and targeted synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs as used against rheumatoid arthritis in clinical practice

RheumatologyHuss V, Bower H, Wadström H, et al. | July 30, 2021

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In this observational nationwide and population-based cohort study, researchers sought to estimate the occurrence and relative risks of first-ever incident non-cutaneous cancer overall and by 16 sites in patients with RA treated with biologic and targeted synthetic DMARDs (b/tsDMARDs), by time since treatment start, attained age, and time on active treatment. The sample consisted of patients with RA (n = 69,308), treated with TNF inhibitors (TNFi; adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab) or other b/tsDMARDs (abatacept, rituximab, baricitinib, tofacitinib and tocilizumab) compared with RA patients not treated with b/tsDMARDs, and matched general population referents (n = 109,532), 2001–2018. Long-term use of TNFi in clinical practice against RA has not been linked to an increase in cancer risks overall. The findings for other b/tsDMARDs and site-specific risks are generally reassuring, but they contain signals that warrant further investigation.

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