Anti-TNF-a IBD Drugs Found to Not Be Associated with Cancer Risk

Anti-TNF-a IBD Drugs Found to Not Be Associated with Cancer Risk
A sigh of relief for many Chron's and colitis patients: the class of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) antagonists do not cause an short-term increased risk of cancer. The findings originate from a study authored by Dr. Nynne Nyboe Andersen at the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Anti-TNF-a drugs include adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), gloimumab (Simponi), and infliximab (Remicade). "These results did not reveal any significantly increased risk of cancer," said Dr. Andersen.  Cancer occurred in just under 2% of patients treated with TNF-a antagonists, and nearly 7% of patients not treated with anti-TNF-a drugs developed cancer. The study authors were interested in a possible association between TNF-a antagonists, which interrupt the inflammation response of the immune system, and cancer. "Treatment with these drugs inhibits the inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract thereby leading to reduced symptoms [of inflammatory bowl disease]," said Dr. Andersen. TNF-a antagonists are suspected of allowing cancer progression because "[TNF-a] is one of the actual bullets that the immune system uses to shoot down and kill cancer cells or a cell that is infected by a bacteria or a virus," said Fadi Braiteh, from Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. "By cooling down the immune system, you can improve the ability of cancer cells to escape detection and develop into full-blown cancer." Their reasoning was not unfounded: an analysis from 2006 of early clinical trials showed a threefold increase in cancer risk among patients. However, subsequent analyses could not confirm the same results. Dr. Andersen's study looked at cancer rates of more
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.