Role of Thiopurine and Anti-TNF Therapy in Lymphoma in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, 94612, USA.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 10.76). 12/2011; 106(12):2146-53. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2011.283
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to assess inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) medications in relation to lymphoma risk.
Information on IBD and relevant medications and other utilization was obtained from the Kaiser Permanente IBD Registry, 1996-2009. Lymphoma cases were ascertained from the Kaiser Permanente Cancer Registry. Lymphoma incidence was compared between the IBD cohort and the general Kaiser Permanente population.
Of the 16,023 IBD patients without human immunodeficiency virus followed an average 5.8 years, 43 developed lymphoma. IBD patients with and without lymphoma did not differ with respect to past IBD-related visits, procedures, or tests. The standardized incidence rate ratio (SIRR) for lymphoma among IBD patients with no dispensing of thiopurine or anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was 1.0 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96-1.1). Of the 21,282 person-years involving exposure to thiopurine or anti-TNF, 81% involved thiopurine alone; 3%, anti-TNF alone; and 16%, combination therapy. Among patients with thiopurine but not anti-TNF dispensings, the SIRR was 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2-0.4) for past use and 1.4 for current use (95% CI: 1.2-2.7). Among patients with dispensing of anti-TNF (with and without thiopurine), the SIRR was 5.5 for past use (95% CI: 4.5-6.6) and 4.4 for current use (95% CI: 3.4-5.4). The most common lymphoma subtypes were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (44%), follicular lymphoma (14%), and Hodgkin's disease (12%).
Our study provides evidence that IBD alone is not associated with the risk of lymphoma. Use of anti-TNF with thiopurine and current use of thiopurine alone were associated with increased risk, although the effect of disease severity merits further evaluation.

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    • "Multiple population-based studies of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have not shown an excess risk of lymphoproliferative disorders (LD) over baseline in part because it is difficult to rule out an effect from the disease itself in the population of patients who require more intensive therapy [8,9]. However, studies evaluating the risk of LD in the setting of CD and thiopurine therapy, summarized in a review by Beaugerie et al[9], support an approximate five-fold therapy specific elevated risk. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Lymphomatoid granulomatosis (LYG) is a rare Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferative disorder. It most often occurs in patients with immunodeficiency and the clinical course ranges from indolent behavior to that of an aggressive malignancy. Pulmonary, central nervous system and dermatological manifestations are most common. To our knowledge this is the first reported case of LYG related to azathioprine therapy in Crohn disease. Case presentation A twenty-six year old Caucasian woman with colonic Crohn disease on maintenance azathioprine therapy presented with right upper quadrant pain and fever. Diagnostic imaging revealed extensive liver, pulmonary and cerebral lesions. A diagnosis of LYG was made based on the pattern of organ involvement and the immunohistochemical features on liver and lung biopsy. Conclusions Thiopurine therapy for inflammatory bowel disease is associated with an increased incidence of lymphoproliferative disorders. This report highlights the diagnostic challenges associated with LYG. As long-term thiopurine therapy remains central to the management of inflammatory bowel diseases it is essential that both patients and clinicians are aware of this potential adverse outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC Gastroenterology
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    • "carried higher risks for serious infection (Lichtenstein et al., 2012). In a cohort study (1996–2009), data showed that use of anti-TNF with thiopurine and current use of thiopurine alone were associated with increased risk of lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (44 %), follicular lymphoma (14 %), and Hodgkin's disease (12 %) (Herrinton et al., 2011). In addition, the economic burden of patients with CD is very high not only in China but also in developed countries. "
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    ABSTRACT: Crohn’s Disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated disorder with progressive and destructive course. Current guidelines on the treatment strategy still recommend a step-up approach with sequential prescription of corticosteroids and immunosuppressives. However, mounting evidences manifested that top-down therapy with early administration of anti-TNF or combination of immunosuppressives can achieve more rapid and higher rate of mucosal healing and has the potential of modifying the natural course of disease. Therefore, who is suitable to accept and when to start anti-TNF therapy have attracted the attention of astroenterologists. And what benefit/risk can be expected from the two strategies should be carefully taken into account by clinicians. Age stratification, special patients, disease location and extension, genetic and serologic testing are predictors of disease progression and complication and thus guide a personalized treatment approach in CD. A definition of early CD has been proposed to select an algorithm for treatment of moderate-to-severe CD with a suitable strategy. To date mucosal healing has been widely used, the Lémann score, which assesses the extent and severity of bowel damage at a specific time-point and over time, and is a new disability index for patients with CD, will be considered as a new endpoint for future studies of treatment strategies. Besides medicines of the two strategies, surgery, vaccine, Leukocytapheresis and stem cell therapy are all effective therapeutic approaches which lead to another thinking about what should they be putted in the conditional pyramid. However, we are trying to answer these questions.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · EXCLI Journal
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    • "NS Vos et al., 2011 22 SIR 1.0 (95% CI 0.96–1.1) NS Herrinton et al., 2011 41 "
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    ABSTRACT: The lymphoproliferative disorders (LDs) are a heterogeneous group of at least 70 conditions that result from the clonal proliferation of B, T, and NK cells. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-associated lymphomas are typically B-cell LD, while T-cell or Hodgkin's lymphomas are rare. In IBD patients not on immunosuppression, the risk of LD seems to be similar or slightly higher than the background population risk. Thiopurine therapy is associated with an increased risk: the relative risk is increased four- to sixfold and the absolute risk varies between 1 in 4000–5000 for those aged 20–29 to 1 in 300–400 in those over 70. It is difficult to quantify the risk of anti- tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy alone; however, it appears to be less than for thiopurines alone. There is particular concern regarding the development of post-transplant-like LD in those with latent epstein-barr virus (EBV) infection exposed to immunosuppressives, the occurrence of hepatosplenic T cell lymphoma in patients treated with combination anti-TNF and thiopurine therapy, and the development of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in those who acquire a primary EBV or other infections while on immunosuppressive medication. There are currently no guidelines for monitoring EBV (or other virus) status in patients on immunosuppression, although it could be used to monitor those who have a prior history of lymphoma and are about to start a thiopurine or anti-TNF agent. In discussing the risks of lymphoproliferative disorders associated with agents used for the treatment of IBD, patients can often be reassured that the benefits of such therapy still outweigh the small, but real, risks.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
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