Background and Objectives: It is still unclear whether sarcoidosis is likely to be associated with tumors. In addition, the use of an immune checkpoint inhibitor has been reported to initiate the onset of sarcoidosis. We retrospectively analyzed tumor development before and after the diagnosis of sarcoidosis and examined the impact of having a history of tumors on the activity or the severity of sarcoidosis. Materials and Methods: We recruited 312 consecutive cases of sarcoidosis and analyzed the tumor development before and after the onset of sarcoidosis. Results: Among them, 25 cases were diagnosed with malignant tumor after diagnosis of sarcoidosis. In the analysis of the tumor-development group after diagnosis of sarcoidosis, both serum angiotensin I-converting enzyme and mediastinal lymph node size were significantly reduced at the time of malignant tumor diagnosis compared to at the onset of sarcoidosis, indicating that the decreasing activity of sarcoidosis may be partly associated with tumor development. Furthermore, we examined 34 cases having tumor history before the onset of sarcoidosis and analyzed the effect of tumor history on the severity of sarcoidosis. Cases with a malignant tumor in the past were older and had less complicated organs of sarcoidosis than cases without malignant tumors in the past. Oral corticosteroid therapy was administrated more frequently in cases without malignant tumors in the past, indicating that the history of a malignant tumor may influence the severity of sarcoidosis. Conclusion: These results indicate that tumor development may be partly associated with the activity or severity of sarcoidosis.
Keywords: Th1; Th17; cancer; immune checkpoint inhibitor; sarcoidosis.