Document Type : Systematic review


1 Resident of Internal Medicine, Rheumatic Diseases Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Professor of Rheumatology, Rheumatic Diseases Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Rheumatology, Rheumatic Diseases Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: As a chronic autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects the joints. Studies have shown a complex and challenging link between cancer and RA. However, articles claim a significant relationship between cancer and treatment with DMARDs and biological DMARDs (e.g., Abatacept); however, the results are contradictory. Accordingly, this systematic review investigates the prevalence of cancer in RA patients taking Abatacept.
Methods: We searched for articles published in four databases, namely Web of Science, Medline, PubMed, and Scopus up to September 29, 2023. The methodology followed recommendations from the Cochrane Handbook. During the search process, we selected articles using keywords such as “rheumatoid arthritis”, “malignancy”, and “cancer” with the Boolean operators “AND” and “OR”.”
Results: A total of 12 studies were considered, the majority highlighted the effectiveness of Abatacept as an anti-RA medicine in the risk of cancer prevalence. Most of the patients investigated in the trials were female. Lung cancer was the greatest malignancy in those suffering from RA diseases. However, these investigations found no significant link between Abatacept use and cancer risk.
Conclusion: There is speculation regarding the potential use of rheumatoid arthritis drugs in treating RA and its potential association with cancer incidence. According to the findings presented in this review article, there was no statistically significant association between the utilization of Abatacept and the prevalence of cancer in patients who were administered Abatacept either as a standalone treatment or in combination with other anti-rheumatoid medications. However, it is advised that further clinical trials be conducted to thoroughly investigate this association.


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