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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Jan;29(1):84-90.

Incidence of renal cell carcinoma in inflammatory bowel disease patients with and without anti-TNF treatment.

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Departments of aGastroenterology and Hepatology bUrology cRheumatology, University Hospitals Leuven, KU Leuven, Leuven dBelgian Cancer Registry, Brussels, Belgium.



We aimed to study the risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatic diseases (RD) and calculate standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) in IBD.


This was a retrospective case-control and cohort study spanning 25 years, including IBD and RD patients with a diagnosis of RCC (1990-2014) identified through the electronic database of a tertiary referral center.


RCC was confirmed in seven anti-TNF-exposed (TNF+) and 21 anti-TNF-naive (TNF-) IBD and one TNF+ and 26 TNF- RD patients. In IBD-RCC, younger age at RCC diagnosis [median (interquartile range) 46 (42-58) vs. 63 (52-75) years; P=0.02], immunosuppressive therapy (100 vs. 24%; P<0.0004), partial nephrectomy (86 vs. 33%; P=0.02), and surgery less than 1 month after diagnosis of RCC (71 vs. 14%; P=0.004) were associated with anti-TNF. Compared with IBD, RD patients were older at RCC diagnosis [70 (60-77) vs. 59 (47-69) years; P=0.02] with less nephron-sparing surgery (26 vs. 54%; P=0.04) and more symptomatic (44 vs. 14%; P=0.02) and advanced tumors (30 vs. 7%; P=0.04). SIRs in IBD-RCC TNF- and TNF+ were 5.4 (95% confidence interval 2.9-9.2) and 7.1 (2.3-16.5) in male patients and 8.5 (3.7-16.8) and 4.8 (0.6-17.3) in female patients, respectively. The risk for RCC associated with anti-TNF in IBD was 0.8 (0.3-2.5) in men and 1.4 (0.2-5.5) in women.


The favorable patient and tumor profiles in IBD with anti-TNF may suggest incidentally discovered RCC on abdominal imaging. SIRs for IBD-RCC were not increased after anti-TNF exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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