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TNF AND CANCER

PEOPLE WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS WHO USE A CERTAIN CLASS OF DRUGS CAN FEEL REASSURED ABOUT THEIR CANCER RISK, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are a highly effective group of medications for people with rheumatoid arthritis, but studies have associated them with an increased risk of cancer. Now a British study has shown that most of that risk isn't real. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

NELSON: In this analysis of really almost the entire literature experience of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors to treat rheumatoid arthritis there wasn't really much of a risk at all for most cancers. They did see an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancers and an increased risk of melanomas. What that means of course is someone on these treatments should have their skin evaluated for these kinds of cancers. These are easy to see and easy to deal with when in early, localized stages. :30

Nelson says people with rheumatoid arthritis can be reassured that using tumor necrosis factor inhibitors is a reasonable choice. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.

 



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