Popular Crohn’s Colitis Drugs Not Linked to Short-Term Cancer Risk Study, WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A popular class of drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel disease isn’t linked to an increase in the short-term risk of cancer, Danish researchers report.
Researchers found that people with Crohn’s disease or colitis who received the drugs — tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists had about the same risk of cancer as other people with these inflammatory bowel diseases who were not treated with the medication.
The drugs work by interrupting the function of TNF-a, a substance used by the immune system to increase inflammation.
“Treatment with these drugs inhibits the inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract thereby leading to reduced symptoms,” said lead author Dr. Nynne Nyboe Andersen of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen.
The problem is that TNF-a also serves a key role in protecting the body against cancer, raising concerns that inhibiting its function could increase a person’s risk of cancer.
It’s one of the actual bullets that the immune system uses to shoot down and kill cancer cells or a cell that is infected by a bacteria or a virus,” said Dr. Fadi Braiteh, an oncologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, a US Oncology Network affiliate. By cooling down the immune system, you can improve the ability of cancer cells to escape detection and develop into full-blown cancer.
Read more at Popular Crohn’s, Colitis Drugs