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Arthritis patients 'not at cancer risk' from biological therapies

Arthritis patients 'not at cancer risk' from biological therapies
5th September 2012

A range of biological therapies used to target rheumatoid arthritis do not increase cancer risk in patients, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the University of Texas found that recent treatments developed for the condition, known as biological response modifiers (BRMs), do not increase malignancies in patients, despite containing tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors.

There has been much debate as to whether BRMs increased cancer risk, with the results of investigations into the link contradicting each other.

However, the new study, which is the largest systematic review of the problem, claims that fears are unwarranted.

Dr Maria E Suarez-Almazor, senior author of the study, commented: "Patients are understandably concerned when treatments are linked to cancer risk. With this knowledge, clinicians can effectively demonstrate that the benefits of BRMs far outweigh the risk."

This is positive news for rheumatoid arthritis patients, as they can now access a wider array of safe treatments.

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