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22-08-2016 | Lymphoma | News | Article

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RA-related lymphoma risk not attributable to TNF inhibitors

medwireNews: In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), medium-term treatment with tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors does not increase the risk of developing lymphoma over and above the background risk associated with RA.

This finding is “consistent with other published data and the biological expectation that disease activity is the primary driver for lymphoma in RA”, say Kimme Hyrich, from the University of Manchester in the UK, and co-researchers who analysed data from the British Society for Rheumatology Register for RA.

During a median follow-up of 8.6 and 6.5 years, respectively, 84 lymphomas were reported among the 11,931 patients given TNF inhibitors and 30 in their 3367 nonbiological agent-treated counterparts.

After adjusting for confounding factors, patients treated with anti-TNF agents – either considered as a drug class or individually – were no more likely to develop lymphoma than those given nonbiological disease-modifying drugs.

Hyrich et al conclude in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases that “[f]urther follow-up of significantly larger populations is now needed to determine whether longer-term exposure or cumulative drug exposure influences risk, given the overall low absolute risk of lymphoma in [TNF inhibitor]-treated patients.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016

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