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Cancer risk after anti-TNF treatment

Issue 29 Synovium (Spring 2010)

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There is always the concern with powerful immunosuppressive treatments that the short-term benefit might be at the price of increased long-term risk of malignant disease. So it is comforting to read that in a Swedish study following 6366 patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with the anti-TNF drugs infliximab, adalimumab and etanercept1 no increased risk of cancer was observed in 6 years of follow-up compared with patients on other therapies or not taking medication. Six years is not long in the timeline of a disease like rheumatoid arthritis and clearly much longer observation is needed, but this is encouraging information for patients.

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