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Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Jan;8(1):24-36.

Thiopurines in current medical practice: molecular mechanisms and contributions to therapy-related cancer.

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Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms, Hertfordshire, EN6 3LD, UK.


Thiopurines have diverse clinical applications and their long-term use as anti-rejection drugs in transplant patients has been associated with a significantly increased risk of various types of cancer. Although they are slowly being replaced by a new generation of non-thiopurine immunosuppressants, it is anticipated that their use in the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases will continue to increase. Therapy-related cancer will remain a potential consequence of prolonged treatment for these generally non-life-threatening conditions. Understanding how thiopurines contribute to the development of cancer will facilitate clinical decisions about the potential risks to patients of long-term treatment for chronic inflammatory disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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