OBJECTIVES: To investigate the incidence of cancer in arthritis patients treated with or without TNFα inhibitors (TNF-I). METHODS: Arthritis patients from the DANBIO database were followed-up for cancer in the Danish Cancer Registry during 2000-2008. RESULTS: Hazard ratio for cancer overall was 1.02 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80-1.30) in 3347 TNF-I-treated RA patients compared to non-treated. Excess among TNF-I-treated was found for colon cancer (HR 3.52 (95%CI 1.11-11.15), whereas 6 and 0 ovarian cancer cases were observed in treated and non-treated patients, respectively. Compared to the general population, TNF-I-treated RA patients had increased risk for cancer overall, cancer in lymphatic-haematopoietic tissue and non-melanoma skin cancer, while non-RA patients had no increase in overall cancer risk. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that TNF-I therapy in routine care is not associated with an overall excess of cancer in arthritis patients, but observed increased risks of colon and ovarian cancer need further investigation.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 2013, Vol 72, Issue 1, p. 79-82