Study finds evidence of increased lung cancer risk among tuberculosis patients

Jan 01, 2011

Although a clear association of tuberculosis with lung cancer remains to be established, a new study published in the January issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology provides compelling evidence of increased lung cancer risk among people with tuberculosis.

Researchers at China Medical University and Hospital in Taiwan randomly selected 1 million patients covered under the country's National Health Insurance (NHI) program. All patients aged 20 years and older with a new diagnosis of tuberculosis between 1998 and 2000 were identified as the exposed cohort and all people without tuberculosis history were the non-exposed cohort. Patients with any cancer diagnosis were excluded to ensure that all participants were cancer-free at the start of both cohorts. Overall, 716,872 adults were eligible for the analysis - 4,480 in the tuberculosis cohort and 712,392 in the non-tuberculosis cohort.

Both groups were followed from 2001 through 2007. Results showed that patients with tuberculosis were 10.9 times more likely than non-tuberculosis patients to develop lung cancer (26.3 versus 2.41 per 10,000 person-years). Mortality was also much higher in the patients with tuberculosis than in the non-tuberculosis patients (51.1 versus 8.2 per 10,000 person-years).

"Tuberculosis is a very common chronic disease worldwide; people in the developing and undeveloped areas suffer with it mostly," said Dr. Chih-Yi Chen, one of the researchers. "It is well known that lung cancer is causally associated with smoking. Less attention has been focused on whether people with tuberculosis are also at higher risk of developing lung cancer. With the universal claims data of Taiwan, we identified 4,480 patients with tuberculosis from a group of 716,872 people and followed them for eight years or longer. The incidence of lung cancer in these tuberculosis patients was 11 times greater than people without tuberculosis. The risk of lung cancer may increase further to almost 16 times greater if patients with tuberculosis also suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study suggests that it is also important to watch out for prevention in the campaign against ."

Explore further: Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

Provided by International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Experts say Toronto unprepared for TB

Feb 24, 2008

Health experts warn there could be an outbreak of tuberculosis in Toronto, which reportedly lacks a centralized system of TB clinics.

Tuberculosis not the only risk from new immunological drugs

May 20, 2008

A new survey cautions physicians that drugs commonly prescribed for patients suffering from immunological disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease may carry risks of serious infections other than ...

TB may be hard to spot due to rarity

Aug 07, 2006

U.S. doctors often misdiagnose tuberculosis due to its rarity, leaving some patients to suffer for years, the Los Angeles Times reported .

Tuberculosis treatment may be shortened

Sep 02, 2009

According to Dutch researcher Hanneke Later-Nijland, it may be possible to shorten the duration of treatment for tuberculosis. Due to the long duration of treatment, not every patient sees it through. Partly because of this, ...

Recommended for you

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

9 hours ago

Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.

Cerebral palsy may be hereditary

15 hours ago

Cerebral palsy is a neurological developmental disorder which follows an injury to the immature brain before, during or after birth. The resulting condition affects the child's ability to move and in some ...

19 new dengue cases in Japan, linked to Tokyo park

21 hours ago

Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dogbert
not rated yet Jan 01, 2011
It might be expected that cancer risk would increase in the presence of a chronic infection, but 11 times the risk is a horrible prognosis.

Further study in this area is definitely indicated.