Is there an association between anti-TNF monoclonal antibody therapy in rheumatoid arthritis and risk of malignancy and serious infection? Commentary on the meta-analysis by Bongartz et al

Arthritis Res Ther. 2006;8(5):111. doi: 10.1186/ar2026.


A recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials reported by Bongartz and coworkers raised concerns about an increased rate of malignancy and serious infection in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with anti-tumour necrosis factor monoclonal antibodies. This commentary discusses some of the methodological issues in their analysis and urges caution in interpreting the results.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infections / epidemiology*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha