Malignancy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Chronic inflammation and immunosuppressive treatment may predispose patients with rheumatoid arthritis to malignancy. Cohort studies and meta-analyses suggest that the risk of malignant tumours, e.g. lymphoproliferative disease and lung cancer, in rheumatoid arthritis patients is higher than in the general population. In our retrospective study, various tumours occurred in 11.8% of 998 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There are no guidelines for the choice of diseasemodifying treatments in patients with a history of malignancy (except the preferential use of rituximab in patients with lymphoproliferative disease). In these patients, any treatment should be considered as contraindicated, if it is not indicated.

Key words

Malignancy, comorbidity, rheumatoid arthritis.