Blog | Monday, October 27, 2008

Good news, bad news

From ACR today:

The good news is that a new study found that TNF-antagonists do not increase the risk of cancer for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The Spanish study looked at a database that included 14,001 person years and found very similar incidences of cancer in TNF-taking and control patients.

The bad news is that, even though rheumatologic patients are often at a higher risk of developing zoster infections, immunosuppressive therapies can prevent them from getting the vaccine. According to CDC recommendations, the zoster vaccine should be avoided in patients who are on high-dose corticosteroids or TNF-alpha-blockers. It can be given once patients have been off the drugs for at least a month, said this morning's presenter.