Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) and cancer risk: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche 'Mario Negri', Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, Milan, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Molecolari, Istituto di Clinica Medica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Tronto 10/A, Ancona, Dipartimento di Medicina del Lavoro, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Vanzetti 4, Milan, Clinica Medica, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Ospedali Riuniti, Via Conca 71, Ancona and Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Università 'Federico II', Via S. Pansini 5, Naples, Italy.
Rheumatology (Oxford, England) (Impact Factor: 4.44). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kes303
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objectives. A higher incidence of cancer in scleroderma patients compared with the general population has been suggested by several observational studies, reporting, however, different estimates. Therefore, we aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to definitely assess this association.Methods. We searched MEDLINE and Embase for all original articles of observational studies on cancer incidence in scleroderma patients without language restriction published up to December 2011. Two independent authors reviewed all titles/abstracts and retrieved detailed full-text of potentially relevant articles to identify studies according to predefined selection criteria. Summary estimates were derived using random-effects model and reported as relative risk (RR). Publication bias was evaluated by trim and fill analysis.Results. From articles initially identified, 16 original studies, involving more than 7000 patients, were included in the present review. Compared with the general population, the summary RR to develop all invasive cancers in scleroderma patients was 1.75 (95% CI 1.41, 2.18). The results for selected cancer sites indicated a strong association with lung cancer (RR 4.35; 95% CI 2.08, 9.09), and a significant increased risk also for haematological neoplasms (RR 2.24; 95% CI 1.53, 3.29). The relation with breast cancer, suggested in some previous epidemiological studies, was not confirmed (RR 1.05; 95% CI 0.86, 1.29).Conclusion. The present meta-analysis, the first on scleroderma and cancer risk, provides definite estimates on the association between scleroderma and cancer.

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