In patients who underwent spinal arthrodesis, researchers found a high dose of 40 mg of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 increased the risk for new cancers, according to results of this study.
“[U]se of 40 mg of [recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 in a compression-resistant matrix] rhBMP-2/CRM in lumbar arthrodesis was associated with an increased risk of new cancers,” Eugene J. Carragee, MD, and colleagues wrote in the study. “This finding raises important concerns because of the large number of patients currently being exposed to rhBMP-2 at high doses in off-label use. Further analysis of the cancer risk associated with rhBMP-2 therapy is warranted.”
Carragee and colleagues found 15 new cancers in 11 patients at 2 years. There was an incidence rate of 3.37 per 100-person years in the rhBMP-2 group of 239 patients compared to 0.50 in the control group of 224 patients, according to the abstract. At 5 years, the significant increase in incidence of cancer events was still higher than in the control group, but researchers noted a 37% loss of follow-up.
Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.