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Risk of invasive melanoma in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with biologics: results from a collaborative project of 11 European biologic registers

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Louise K Mercer
  • Johan Askling
  • Pauline Raaschou
  • William G Dixon
  • Lene Dreyer
  • Merete Lund Hetland
  • Anja Strangfeld
  • Angela Zink
  • Xavier Mariette
  • Axel Finckh
  • Helena Canhao
  • Florenzo Iannone
  • Jakub Zavada
  • Jacques Morel
  • Jacques-Eric Gottenberg
  • Kimme L Hyrich
  • Joachim Listing
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OBJECTIVES: Some studies have reported a possible association between exposure to tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and an increased risk of melanoma. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of invasive cutaneous melanomas in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with TNF inhibitors (TNFi), other biologic disease modifying drugs and non-biologic therapy.

METHODS: Eleven biologic registers from nine European countries participated in this collaborative project. According to predefined exposure definitions, cohorts of patients with RA were selected. Using the country-specific general population of each register as reference, age, sex and calendar year standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) of invasive histology-confirmed cutaneous melanoma were calculated within each register. Pooled SIR and incidence rate ratios (IRRs) comparing biologic cohorts to biologic-naïve were calculated across countries by taking the size of the register into account.

RESULTS: Overall 130 315 RA patients with a mean age of 58 years contributing 579 983 person-years were available for the analysis and 287 developed a first melanoma. Pooled SIRs for biologic-naïve, TNFi and rituximab-exposed patients were 1.1 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.4), 1.2 (0.99 to 1.6) and 1.3 (0.6 to 2.6), respectively. Incidence rates in tocilizumab and abatacept-exposed patients were also not significantly increased. IRR versus biologic-naïve patients were: TNFi 1.1 (95% CI 0.8 to 1.6); rituximab 1.2 (0.5 to 2.9).

CONCLUSIONS: This large European collaborative project did not confirm an overall increased risk of melanoma following exposure to TNFi.

TidsskriftAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)386-391
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2017

ID: 49695488