Study Finds Increased Incidence of SCC Among Patients Treated with Biologics for Psoriasis

February 7, 2017

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology sought to estimate the overall malignancy rate (excluding non-melanoma skin cancere [NMSC]) and NMSC rate among 5,889 patients with systemically treated psoriasis.

The researchers identified a cohort of adult Kaiser Permanente Northern California health plan members with psoriasis diagnosed from 1998 to 2011 who were treated with at least one systemic antipsoriatic agent and categorized them into ever-biologic or nonbiologic users. Most biologic-exposed members were treated with TNF-alfa inhibitors (n = 2214, 97 percent).

The study found that  overall incident cancer rates were comparable between ever-biologic as compared to nonbiologic users. NMSC rates were 42 percent higher among individuals ever exposed to a biologic, largely driven by increased cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma risk.

The authors concluded that increased skin cancer surveillance in this population may be warranted.


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