Background: There is a need to better understand the safety of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors in patients with psoriatic disease in whom TNF inhibitors are frequently used as monotherapy.
Objective: We sought to examine the risks of infection and malignancy with the use of TNF antagonists in adult patients with psoriatic disease.
Methods: We conducted a systematic search for trials of TNF antagonists for adults with plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. We included randomized, placebo-controlled trials of etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab, and certolizumab for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Twenty of 820 identified studies with a total of 6810 patients were included. Results were calculated using fixed effects models and reported as pooled odds ratios.
Results: Odds ratios for overall infection and serious infection over a mean of 17.8 weeks were 1.18 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.33) and 0.70 (95% CI 0.40-1.21), respectively. When adjusting for patient-years, the incidence rate ratio for overall infection was 1.01 (95% CI 0.92-1.11). The odds ratio for malignancy was 1.48 (95% CI 0.71-3.09) and 1.26 (95% CI 0.39-4.15) when nonmelanoma skin cancer was excluded.
Limitations: Short duration of follow-up and rarity of malignancies and serious infections are limitations.
Conclusions: There is a small increased risk of overall infection with the short-term use of TNF antagonists for psoriasis that may be attributable to differences in follow-up time between treatment and placebo groups. There was no evidence of an increased risk of serious infection and a statistically significant increased risk in cancer was not observed with short-term use of TNF inhibitors.
Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.