Psoriasis may elevate risk of melanoma, haematologic cancers
There appears to be an increased risk of melanoma and haematologic cancers in patients with psoriasis compared with the general population, according to a recent study. This risk is not increased by systemic or biologic psoriasis treatments.
To examine the risk of melanoma and haematologic cancers in patients with psoriasis, as well as the association with various therapies, researchers used case-control and retrospective cohort designs. Fisher exact test was used to assess the risk with different types of therapies.
Patients with psoriasis were found to have 1.53 times higher risk of developing malignancy compared with patients without psoriasis (p<0.01). No significant differences were found in malignancy risk among those treated with topicals, phototherapy, systemics or biologic agents.
Furthermore, patients with psoriasis and malignancy did not have significantly worse survival that those without psoriasis, said researchers.
“It is possible that patients developed malignancy subsequent to the follow-up time included in the study,” they added.
A 2009 study found that many of the treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis, such as psoralen and ultraviolet A, traditional systemic therapies, and some biologic therapies, could elevate the risk of malignancy. It added that appropriate patient counselling and selection, as well as clinical follow-up, are warranted to maximize safety with such agents. [J Am Acad Dermatol 2009;60:1001-17]
On the other hand, a study by Christophers and colleagues concluded that more patients given biologic therapies improved from severe to moderate or mild psoriasis than those on other treatments. They added that more patients with plaque psoriasis and their dermatologists were satisfied with biologics than any other treatment. [J Dermatolog Treat 2013;24:193-8]