Role of Thiopurine and anti-TNF Therapy in Lymphoma in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Dec;106(12):2146-53. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.283. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Abstract

Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) medications in relation to lymphoma risk.

Methods: Information on IBD and relevant medications and other utilization was obtained from the Kaiser Permanente IBD Registry, 1996-2009. Lymphoma cases were ascertained from the Kaiser Permanente Cancer Registry. Lymphoma incidence was compared between the IBD cohort and the general Kaiser Permanente population.

Results: Of the 16,023 IBD patients without human immunodeficiency virus followed an average 5.8 years, 43 developed lymphoma. IBD patients with and without lymphoma did not differ with respect to past IBD-related visits, procedures, or tests. The standardized incidence rate ratio (SIRR) for lymphoma among IBD patients with no dispensing of thiopurine or anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was 1.0 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96-1.1). Of the 21,282 person-years involving exposure to thiopurine or anti-TNF, 81% involved thiopurine alone; 3%, anti-TNF alone; and 16%, combination therapy. Among patients with thiopurine but not anti-TNF dispensings, the SIRR was 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2-0.4) for past use and 1.4 for current use (95% CI: 1.2-2.7). Among patients with dispensing of anti-TNF (with and without thiopurine), the SIRR was 5.5 for past use (95% CI: 4.5-6.6) and 4.4 for current use (95% CI: 3.4-5.4). The most common lymphoma subtypes were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (44%), follicular lymphoma (14%), and Hodgkin's disease (12%).

Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that IBD alone is not associated with the risk of lymphoma. Use of anti-TNF with thiopurine and current use of thiopurine alone were associated with increased risk, although the effect of disease severity merits further evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Azathioprine / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Infliximab
  • Lymphoma / chemically induced*
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mercaptopurine / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Mercaptopurine
  • Adalimumab
  • Azathioprine