The widespread use of anti-tumour necrosis factor-antibody (Infliximab) in Crohn's disease raises concerns about a possible cancer risk in the long term.
Dr Biancone and colleagues from Italy assessed whether Infliximab is associated with an increased risk of neoplasia.
The team conducted a multicenter matched pair study, and included 404 Crohn's disease patients treated with Infliximab.
The patients were matched with 404 Crohn's disease patients who had never received Infliximab.
Cases and controls were matched for sex, age, site of Crohn's disease, age at diagnosis, immunosuppressant use, and follow up.
|Neoplasia was diagnosed in 9 patients treated with Infliximab vs 7 not receiving the treatment|
The research team recorded new diagnoses of neoplasia from 1999 to 2004.
The researchers found that neoplasia was diagnosed in 9 of the patients treated with Infliximab.
Among the patients who never received Infliximab, 7 patients developed neoplasia.
The survival curve adjusted for patient year of follow up showed no differences between the 2 patient groups.
With Infliximab treatment, the team identified 1 cholangiocarcinoma, 3 breast cancers, 1 skin cancer, 1 leukaemia, 1 laryngeal cancer, and 2 anal carcinomas.
Among patients who had not received treatment, there were 3 intestinal adenocarcinomas, 1 basalioma, 1 spinalioma, 1 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 1 breast cancer.
The team observed that the age at diagnosis of neoplasia did not differ between groups.
Dr Biancone's team concludes, “In our multicenter matched pair study, the frequency of a new diagnosis of neoplasia in Crohn's disease patients treated with Infliximab was comparable with Crohn's disease patients who had never received Infliximab.”