Do anti-TNF-α drugs increase cancer risk in rheumatoid arthritis patients?

Inflammopharmacology. 2013 Apr;21(2):125-7. doi: 10.1007/s10787-012-0158-0. Epub 2012 Nov 9.


Concern has been raised about an increased risk of lymphoma and skin cancers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis due to administration of anti-TNF-α drugs. Meta-analysis of observational data from registries as well as from randomized controlled trials has failed to show a significant increase in the risk of lymphoma when the sample size has been sufficiently large; skin cancer risk may represent a valid concern. Issues relating to interpretation of these data are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha