Cancer Risk After Use of Recombinant Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 for Spinal Arthrodesis

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, 450 Broadway Street, Pavilion C, 4th Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063. E-mail address for E.J. Carragee: .
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Impact Factor: 5.28). 09/2013; 95(17):1537-45. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01483
Source: PubMed


Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) is a growth factor known to have in vitro effects on the growth and invasiveness of cancer. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in limited doses for single-level anterior spinal arthrodesis, but it is commonly used off-label and at high doses. The effect of rhBMP-2 on the risk of cancer has been a concern. We sought to evaluate the risk of new cancers in patients receiving high-dose rhBMP-2.
We used publicly available data from a pivotal, multicenter, randomized controlled trial of patients with degenerative lumbar spine conditions who underwent a single-level instrumented posterolateral arthrodesis with either high-dose rhBMP-2 in a compression-resistant matrix (CRM) (rhBMP-2/CRM; n = 239) or autogenous bone graft (control group; n = 224). We compared the risks of new cancers in the rhBMP-2/CRM and control groups at two and five years after surgery.
At two years, with 86% follow-up, there were fifteen new cancer events in eleven patients in the rhBMP-2/CRM group compared with two new cancer events in two patients in the control group treated with autogenous bone graft. The incidence rate of new cancer events per 100 person-years was 3.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.89 to 5.56) in the rhBMP-2/CRM group at two years compared with 0.50 (95% CI, 0.06 to 1.80) in the control group. The incidence rate ratio was 6.75 (95% CI, 1.57 to 60.83; p = 0.0026) at two years. Calculated in terms of the number of patients with one or more cancer events two years after the surgery, the incidence rate per 100 person-years was 2.54 (95% CI, 1.27 to 4.54) in the rhBMP-2/CRM group compared with 0.50 (95% CI, 0.06 to 1.82) in the control group at two years; the incidence rate ratio was 5.04 (95% CI, 1.10 to 46.82; p = 0.0194). At five years, there was a 37% loss of follow-up, but a significantly greater incidence of cancer events was still observed in the rhBMP-2/CRM group.
A high dose of 40 mg of rhBMP-2/CRM in lumbar spinal arthrodesis was associated with an increased risk of new cancer.
Therapeutic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    • "More recently, BMP-2 has demonstrated to be effective at lower in vivo doses (verbal communication, Medtronic). The potential off-label risks of BMP-2 have been documented in the literature and include: ectopic bone formation [26], swelling/hematoma [27], neoplasia [28], and wound problems; [29] this should be taken into consideration when using these therapies off-label. As basic science researchers, translational scientists and surgeons further understand the temporospatial orchestration of growth factor/cytokines during fracture healing, more precise delivery, timing and dosing of these factors could be delivered to these defects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reconstruction of critical-size bony defects remains a challenge to surgeons despite recent technological advances. Current treatments include distraction osteogenesis, cancellous autograft, induced membranes (Masquelet procedure), polymeric membranes, and titanium-mesh cages filled with bone graft. In this article, the authors presents two cases in which critical-sized defects were reconstructed using a meshed fascial autograft encasing reamer-irrigator-aspirator (RIA) autograft and cancellous allograft. This article will discuss the clinical outcomes of the technique, comparison to other current techniques, and technical insight into the potential biological mechanism.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Patient Safety in Surgery
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    • "Recent studies showed that the off-label use of a high dose (more than 40 mg) of rhBMP-2 was associated with an increased risk of new cancer. We should therefore, further evaluate the potential risk of cancers in patients receiving high-dose rhBMP2 [31], [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of impacted bone graft with or without recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) for osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH). We examined the effect of bone-grafting through a window at the femoral head-neck junction, known as the "light bulb" approach, for the treatment of ONFH with a combination of artificial bone (Novobone) mixed with or without rhBMP-2. A total of 42 patients (72 hips) were followed-up from 5 to 7.67 years (average of 6.1 years). The patients with and without BMP were the first group (IBG+rhBMP-2) and the second group (IBG), respectively. The clinical effectiveness was evaluated by Harris hip score (HHS). The radiographic follow-up was evaluated by pre-and postoperative X-ray and CT scan. Excellent, good, and fair functions were obtained in 36, 12, and 7 hips, respectively. The survival rate was 81.8% and 71.8% in the first and second group, respectively. However, the survival rate was 90.3% in ARCO stage IIb, c, and only 34.6% in ARCO stage IIIa(P<0.05). It was concluded that good and excellent mid-term follow-up could be achieved in selected patients with ONFH treated with impacted bone graft operation. The rhBMP-2 might improve the clinical efficacy and quality of bone repair.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "After washed with PBS, the treated cells were lysed with 0.1% TritonX-100/PBS and repeatedly frozen/thawed for three times to disrupt the cell membranes. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were determined using an alkaline phosphatase reagent kit (ANASPEC, Fremont, CA, USA) and Protein concentrations was measured by the Bicinchoninic Acid (BCA) protein assay reagent (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, USA) [9], [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is a potent osteoinductive cytokine that plays a critical role in bone regeneration and repair. However, its distribution and side effects are major barriers to its success as therapeutic treatment. The improvement of therapy using collagen delivery matrices has been reported. To investigate a delivery system on postero-lateral spinal fusion, both engineered human BMP-2 with a collagen binding domain (CBD-BMP-2) and collagen scaffolds were developed and their combination was implanted into Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats to study Lumbar 4-5 (L4-L5) posterolateral spine fusion. We divided SD rats into three groups, the sham group (G1, n = 20), the collagen scaffold-treated group (G2, n = 20) and the BMP-2-loaded collagen scaffolds group (G3, n = 20). 16 weeks after surgery, the spines of the rats were evaluated by X-radiographs, high-resolution micro-computed tomography (micro-CT), manual palpation and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The results showed that spine L4-L5 fusions occurred in G2(40%) and G3(100%) group, while results from the sham group were inconsistent. Moreover, G3 had better results than G2, including higher fusion efficiency (X score, G2 = 2.4±0.163, G3 = 3.0±0, p<0.05), higher bone mineral density (BMD, G2: 0.3337±0.0025g/cm3, G3: 0.4353±0.0234g/cm3. p<0.05) and more bone trabecular formation. The results demonstrated that with site-specific collagen binding domain, a dose of BMP-2 as low as 0.02mg CBD-BMP-2/cm3 collagen scaffold could enhance the posterolateral intertransverse process fusion in rats. It suggested that combination delivery could be an alternative in spine fusion with dramatically decreased side effects caused by high dose of BMP-2.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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