ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Are multiple sclerosis patients protected against some types of cancer?


Introduction. The risk factors for multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer overlap to a large extent.
The objective of our study was to estimate the prevalence and risk ratios (RR) of cancers in patients with MS and to identify which types of cancer have the lowest frequency.
Materials and methods. We carried out research of the literature in the PubMed, Medline, and Google Academic databases, with the aim of identifying large-scale studies addressing the link between different cancers and MS. From 411 relevant articles, we selected 13 scientific papers for further analysis, comprising 109,276 patients diagnosed with MS from different countries.
Results. Of all MS patients, 5.1% were diagnosed with a certain type of cancer compared to 5.5% in the general population; the cancers with the lowest incidence were respiratory, digestive, and blood cancers.
Conclusions. The results of our analysis suggested that MS patients are less exposed to respiratory, digestive, and blood cancers, but more research is needed to understand if some disease-modifying therapies play a role in this regard.
Keywords: cancer, multiple sclerosis, tumours, central nervous system, disease-modifying therapies.

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Address for correspondence:
Department of Neurology, “Dr. Carol Davila” Central Military Emergency University Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
Address: Calea Plevnei 134, 010242 Bucharest, Romania


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Vasile TM, Dumitru RI, Caloianu I, Manole AM, Plesa FC,
Sirbu CA. Are multiple sclerosis patients protected against some types of cancer? Arch Balk Med Union. 2022;57(3):268-276.