Navigation Links
Research: Lupus drugs carry no significant cancer risk for patients

This press release is available in French.

Montreal, January 24, 2013 People who take immunosuppressive drugs to treat lupus do not necessarily increase their cancer risk according to new research led by scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). This landmark study, which was published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases this month, addresses long-standing fears of a link between lupus medication and cancer.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly known as lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue such as the skin, joints, kidneys and the brain, leading to inflammation and lesions. The disease affects about 1 in 2000 Canadians, particularly women.

Previous research has suggested that lupus patients have an increased risk of developing cancer, particularly lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that occurs when cells called lymphocytes, which usually help protect the body from infection and disease, begin growing and multiplying uncontrollably leading to tumor growth.

"Treatment for Lupus consists largely of immunosuppressive medications, which lower the body's immune response," explains Dr. Sasha Bernatsky, first and corresponding author of the study, who is a researcher within the Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology and Rheumatology at the RI-MUHC and at McGill University.

According to Dr. Ann E. Clarke, director of the MUHC lupus clinic and study co-lead, the fear of developing cancer among Lupus patients has been so great that some were reluctant to take their medication and others stopped altogether. The international study involved 75 lupus patients with lymphoma from different centres around the world and nearly 5,000 cancer-free lupus patients as a control.

Researchers studied most of the drugs commonly used to treat SLE including cyclophosphamide, a drug reserved for severe lupus cases and other chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

The results showed that the risk for lymphoma in lupus patients exposed to cyclophosphamide was less than 0.1% per year. In addition, no clear association was observed between lupus disease activity and lymphoma risk.

"People have been wondering for a long time whether the medications were to blame and the results are reassuring, suggesting that most lymphoma cases in SLE are not triggered by drug exposures," says Dr. Bernatsky.

"This is very good news that cancer risk associated with lupus medication is relatively low," said Louise Bergeron, who has been living with lupus for 12 years.

"It reassures me, especially if I need to take more effective immunosuppressive treatments in the coming years."

Future research will focus on the genetic profiles of lupus patients and what impact that can have on the interaction between medication exposure and lymphoma risk in lupus.

Contact: Julie Robert
514-934-1934 x71381
McGill University Health Centre

Related medicine news :

1. Breast stem-cell research: Receptor teamwork is required and a new pathway may be involved
2. BioMed Central presents Challenges in Malaria Research: Progress Towards Elimination
3. Research: NCAA football exploits players in invisible labor market
4. Kinsey research: Postpartum women less stressed by threats unrelated to the baby
5. New Guidelines Issued for Severe Lupus
6. Chronic exposure to staph bacteria may be risk factor for lupus, Mayo study finds
7. Belimumab for lupus erythematosus: Added benefit not proven
8. Women with lupus have a higher risk for preeclampsia
9. Lupus May Be Linked to Serious Pregnancy Complication
10. Researchers identify impact of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus on joint replacement surgery outcomes
11. Michigan Lupus Foundation: New Name, Same Great Services
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... , ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every ... In addition starting on Black Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, ... is a rare opportunity to purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. , ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Safe storage for contraceptive devices may not always be easy ... Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, New Jersey, there is an easy solution ... having to replace NuvaRings more often than necessary. As such, it affords peace of ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back ... to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full control over angle of ... Pulse masking effects, users are sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... study carried out by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia ... of hospitalizations for head injuries. The article explains that part of the reason for ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report on mesothelioma relapse ... the findings on the website. Click here to read the details now. ... who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 patients who ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "2016 ... by Test, Country Volume and Sales Segment ... Emerging Opportunities" report to their offering. ... the addition of the "2016 Global ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 ... kondigt de geplande investering aan van ten ... de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en ... aan de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> Juntendo University ... contrast weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple Sclerosis ... agreement with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in clinical ... to generate multiple contrast images from a single scan and ... making it possible to both fine tune images and recreate ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: