Temporal relationship between antitumor necrosis factor-alpha antibody therapy and recrudescence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Laryngoscope. 2008 Mar;118(3):450-2. doi: 10.1097/MLG.0b013e31815abf4c.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors have been used effectively to treat rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Although the role of TNF-alpha in tumor development is not well understood, an increased risk of malignancies with anti-TNF-alpha therapy has been suggested. We report an instructive case of a patient, treated for Crohn's disease with infliximab, who presented with a neck abscess diagnosed to be head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The patient's clinical course illustrates a temporal relationship between reappearance of his cancer after a complete response to therapy and the resumption of infliximab for worsening Crohn's disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemically induced*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / adverse effects*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / chemically induced*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab