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Medications and malignancy in inflammatory bowel disease
  1. Philip Hendy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip Hendy, IBD Unit, St Mark's Hospital, Watford Rd, Harrow, London HA1 3UJ, UK; philiphendy14{at}

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Do not overstate the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer when prescribing thiopurines in inflammatory bowel disease

▸ Ariyaratnam J, Subramanian V. Association between thiopurine use and nonmelanoma skin cancers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol 2014;109:163–9.

The risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) doubles for those patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who receive thiopurine. This is lower than previously published. Ascertainment bias may be responsible for some of this increased risk.

The data regarding risk of NMSC with thiopurines in IBD are conflicting. In this meta-analysis, a search was performed of electronic journal databases for full articles reporting the risk of developing NMSC in patients with IBD on thiopurines. HR, publication bias and heterogeneity were calculated.

Eight studies (four nested case–control and …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.