- The risk for nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) was higher in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (anti-TNF) compared with those without anti-TNF.
- The risk was more pronounced for squamous cell skin cancer (SCC).
Why this matters
- Findings suggest that anti-TNF may be avoided in RA patients who are at high risk of NMSC.
- Meta-analysis of 6 studies that compared the risk of NMSC in RA patients treated with anti-TNF drugs vs those without anti-TNF (n=123031).
- Funding: supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and others.
- RA patients treated with anti-TNF vs those without anti-TN were at an increased for NMSC (relative risk [RR] 1.28, 95% CI, 1.19-1.38; I2=45.6%, P=.056).
- In the subgroup meta-analysis by type of NMSC, anti-TNF use in RA patients was associated with increased risk for SCC (RR 1.30, 95% CI, 1.09-1.54; I2= 0%, P=.854), but not basal cell skin cancer (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.97-1.31; I2= 0%, P=.555).
- Risk of bias.