Solid malignancies among etanercept-treated patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's): long-term followup of a multicenter longitudinal cohort.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: An association between therapeutic inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and solid malignancies was observed during the Wegener's Granulomatosis Etanercept Trial (WGET), which included 180 patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's) (GPA). The present study was conducted to determine the malignancy risk beyond the time of exposure to study therapy. METHODS: The occurrence and type of solid malignancies were ascertained using a standardized data form. Data collected included vital status, histologic findings, and therapeutic interventions. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results database was used to estimate a standardized incidence rate (SIR) for solid malignancies. RESULTS: Post-trial followup data were available for 153 patients (85% of the original cohort), with a median followup time of 43 months. Fifty percent of these patients had received etanercept. There were no differences in demographic characteristics between the etanercept and placebo groups. Thirteen new solid malignancies were detected, 8 in the etanercept group and 5 in the placebo group. Compared to the general population, the risk of solid malignancies in the etanercept group was increased (SIR 3.92 [95% confidence interval 1.69-7.72]), but was not different from the risk in the placebo group compared to the general population (SIR 2.89 [95% confidence interval 0.94-6.73]). All solid malignancies occurred in patients who had been exposed to cyclophosphamide. The overall duration of disease and a history of malignancy before trial enrollment were associated with the development of malignancy during post-trial followup. CONCLUSION: The incidence of solid malignancy remained increased during long-term followup of the WGET cohort. However, this could not be attributed solely to etanercept exposure during the trial. Anti-TNF therapy with etanercept appears to further increase the risk of malignancy observed in patients with GPA treated with cytotoxic agents and should be avoided in these patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Silva, F; Seo, P; Schroeder, DR; Stone, JH; Merkel, PA; Hoffman, GS; Spiera, R; Sebastian, JK; Davis, JC; St Clair, EW; Allen, NB; McCune, WJ; Ytterberg, SR; Specks, U; Wegener's Granulomatosis Etanercept Trial Research Group,

Published Date

  • August 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 63 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2495 - 2503

PubMed ID

  • 21484770

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3149780

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-0131

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/art.30394


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States