HealthDay News — For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), treatment with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) is not associated with increased risk for cancer recurrence, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Pauline Raaschou, MD, PhD, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study based on linkage of nationwide registers to examine whether TNFi treatment in RA is associated with increased risk for cancer recurrence.

The researchers found that 42 of the 467 patients who started TNFi treatment at a mean of 7.9 years after cancer diagnosis had cancer recurrence (9.0%); 155 of 2,164 matched patients with the same cancer history had recurrences (7.2%) (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.54). In analyses of subsets of patients matched on cancer stage or with similar time from index cancer diagnosis to the start of TNFi treatment and in unmatched analyses, the hazard ratios were close to 1.

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“The findings suggest that TNFi treatment is not associated with increased risk for cancer recurrence in patients with RA, although meaningful risk increases could not be ruled out completely,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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