Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Publication on study of Cancer risk from meds used to treat ocular inflammatory disease

Long-term risk of malignancy among patients treated with immunosuppressive agents for ocular inflammation: a critical assessment of the evidence.

Ocular Inflammation Service, Scheie Eye Institute, The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

PURPOSE: To critically assess potentially carcinogenic effects of immunosuppressive therapy in the ocular inflammation setting. DESIGN: Focused evidence assessment. METHODS: Relevant publications were identified by MEDLINE and EMBASE queries and reference list searches. RESULTS: Extrapolation from transplant, rheumatology, skin disease, and inflammatory bowel disease cohorts to the ocular inflammation setting suggest that: 1) alkylating agents increase hematologic malignancy risk and cyclophosphamide increases bladder cancer risk, but less so with < or ="18" color="#000099">tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors may accelerate diagnosis of cancer in the first six to 12 months, but probably do not increase long-term cancer risk; and 4) changes in risk with methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil, and daclizumab appear negligible, although nontransplant data are limited for the latter agents. Immunosuppression in general may increase skin cancer risk in a sun exposure-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: Use of alkylating agents for a limited duration seems justifiable for severe, vision-threatening disease, but otherwise cancer risk may be a relevant constraint on use of this approach. Antimetabolites, daclizumab, TNF inhibitors, and calcineurin inhibitors probably do not increase cancer risk to a degree that outweighs the expected benefits of therapy. Monitoring for skin cancer may be useful for highly sun-exposed patients. Data from ocular inflammation patients are needed to confirm the conclusions made in this analysis by extrapolation.

PMID: 18579112 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]