Research published in Arthritis Research & Therapy demonstrated that men and women with systemic lupus erythematosus had increased odds of developing 16 different types of cancer, including leukemia and multiple myeloma, but also lower odds of prostate cancer and cutaneous melanoma.
“Due to early meticulous diagnosis and the progress of treatment, survival rates for systemic lupus erythematosus patients have increased remarkably in recent decades,” Lebin Song, from the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, China, and colleagues wrote. “Despite their increased life expectancy, these patients still have two- to five-times the risk of death compared with the general population, not only for all-cause mortality but also for mortality from cancer. As a result, more attention should be paid to the risks of cancer development in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.”
Song and colleagues reviewed 24 studies published through May 15, 2018 to determine the association between systemic lupus erythematosus and the risk for cancer. All studies included in the analysis evaluated the incidence of cancers in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus by using pooled standardized incidence rates with 95% CIs.
The studies addressed 24 cancer types that were categorized by systemic group, including lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers, reproductive cancers, urinary cancers, digestive cancers, respiratory cancers and others.
The researchers found that systemic lupus erythematosus was associated with a higher risk for cancer overall. Specifically, patients with systemic lupus erythematosus had an increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, cervix, vagina/vulva, renal, bladder, esophagus, gastric, hepatobiliary, lung, oropharynx, larynx, non-melanoma skin and thyroid cancers.
Males and females with systemic lupus erythematosus both had an increased risk of cancer.
Conversely, evidence showed that systemic lupus erythematosus may decrease the risk of prostate cancer and cutaneous melanoma.
There was no significant association between systemic lupus erythematosus and breast, uterus, ovarian, pancreatic, colorectal or brain cancers.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first and largest systematic evaluation to reveal the relationship between systemic lupus erythematosus and the development of cancer risk,” Song and colleagues concluded.
“These outcomes provide a fairly valid and generalizable description of the occurrence of cancers in systemic lupus erythematosus,” they added. “Future high-quality research is required to verify our findings and this should pay more attention to the underlying mechanisms between systemic lupus erythematosus and cancer risks.” – by Alaina Tedesco
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.