TNF-α antagonists not linked with cancer in Danish study

The use of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) antagonists to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is not associated with an increased risk of cancer, analysis of a Danish registry indicates[1]

The analysis, conducted by researchers from Statens Serum Institute and Herlev University Hospital, both in Copenhagen, compared the incidence of cancer among 56,146 patients with IBD, 8.1% of whom were exposed to, on average, eight doses of TNF-α antagonists.

Over a median follow up of 3.7 years, 81 of the 4,553 patients exposed to TNF-α antagonists developed cancer, but these patients were no more likely to develop cancer than patients not exposed to the treatment.

The researchers concede that the relatively small sample size and low number of cancer cases mean that an increased risk of cancer in the long-term or with increasing dosages cannot be excluded.



[1] Andersen NN et al. JAMA 2014;311:2406–2413.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 5 July 2014, Vol 293, No 7817;293(7817):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20065561

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