RA sufferers have high risk of developing non-melanoma skin CA

April 6, 2006

Stanford, Calif. -- A Stanford University School of Medicine study has found that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have a high risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers, and that those being treated with TNF inhibitors together with methotrexate or prednisone are even more likely to develop skin cancer compared with osteoarthritis suffers.

Stanford, Calif. -- A Stanford University School of Medicine study has found that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have a high risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers, and that those being treated with TNF inhibitors together with methotrexate or prednisone are even more likely to develop skin cancer compared with osteoarthritis suffers.

The study, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, compared information on skin cancer from 15,789 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 3,639 osteoarthritis patients. After adjusting for skin cancer risk factors such as age and prior history, the researchers found rheumatoid arthritis to be associated with a 19 percent increase in skin cancer risk in those patients, compared with the risk in osteoarthritis sufferers.

In addition, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers treated with prednisone or TNF inhibitors faced a 28 percent and 24 percent risk increase, respectively, of developing skin cancer. (The study noted that the likelihood of the latter value not being due to chance alone could not be proved.)