SAN DIEGO—New insights into how scleroderma and myositis may be linked with cancer have led to intriguing questions that could impact patient care, experts said at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in November.
Explore this issueMarch 2018
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Understanding the relationship between cancer and rheumatic diseases is important because rheumatologists are seeing more and more patients with both diseases, and treating both conditions at the same time poses a challenge, said Ami Shah, MD, MHS, director of clinical and translational research at the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center in Baltimore.
Researchers have found that scleroderma patients with anti-RNA polymerase-3 (POL3) or anti-RNPC-3 antibodies, and myositis patients with TIF1-gamma or NXP-2 antibodies, are more likely to develop cancer right around the time of the onset of their rheumatic disease. And evidence has emerged that naturally occurring anti-tumor immune responses directed at altered autoantigens in cancers may spread, possibly giving rise to these autoimmune disorders.