IBD Patients Exposed to Thiopurines at Higher Risk of Lymphoma

IBD Patients Exposed to Thiopurines at Higher Risk of Lymphoma
ThiopurinesPeople with inflammatory bowel disease who are taking thiopurines are at significantly increased risk of lymphoma, a recent meta-analysis study showed. The thiopurine drugs are purine antimetabolites commonly used for the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as Crohn's disease. There are 3 types of thiopurines that have been used for inflammatory bowel disease therapy: azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, and thioguanine. Although these drugs' efficacy in the treatment of IBD has been proven, its potential toxicity has been a cause of concern for some time. Researching this issue, a group of sixteen researchers, led by David Kotlyar of the National Cancer Institute, analyzed eighteen relevant studies regarding experimental groups that received azathiprine or 6-mercaptopurine, in order to estimate the relative risk of lymphoma in patients with IBD exposed to thiopurines, and to compare relative risk values derived from population-based studies with those from referral center-based studies. In addition, they investigated whether active use increased risk compared with past use, and whether sex, age, or duration of use influences the risk of lymphoma. The study, entitled "Risk of Lymphoma in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treated with Azathioprine and 6-Mercaptopurine: a Meta-Analysis," showed that, overall, standardized incidence ratio for lymphoma was 4.49, rangi
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