Cancer risk in patients with atopic dermatitis


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) could have an increased risk of keratinocyte carcinoma and kidney cancer, while they may have lower odds of lung and respiratory system cancers, suggests findings from an analysis published in JAMA Dermatology

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, researchers examined data from eight population-based cohort studies (n=5,726,692 participants) and 48 case-control studies (n=114,136 participants) to assess the risk of non-cutaneous and cutaneous cancers in patients with AD compared with the general population without AD. 

The authors reported that AD was statistically significantly associated with keratinocyte carcinoma (5 studies pooled standardised incidence ratio [SIR] 1.46; 95% CI 1.20-1.77) and kidney cancer (2 studies; pooled SIR 1.86; 95% CI 1.14-3.04) in population-based cohort studies. Case-control studies demonstrated lower odds of respiratory system cancers (4 studies; pooled odds ratio [OR] 0.61; 95% CI 0.45-0.82). Conflicting evidence was found for central nervous system cancers and pancreatic cancer, with cohort studies showing a higher risk of cancer associated with AD, while case-control studies showed lower odds. 

The authors concluded that further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying a possible association between AD and cancer risk.