Amiodarone and the Risk of Cancer – A Nationwide Population-Based Study eInterview with Vincent Yi-Fong Su MD
Department of Chest Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Amiodarone, one of the most widely used medications to treat arrhythmias may increase the risk of developing cancer, especially in men and people exposed to high amounts of the drug. That is the conclusion of a new retrospective study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Patients who were male or who received high cumulative daily doses of amiodarone within the first year had an increased risk of developing cancer. Those with both factors were 46 percent more likely to develop cancer than those with neither factor. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: After taking age, sex, and illnesses into account, individuals taking a high amount of amiodarone had nearly twice the risk of developing cancer as those taking a low amount of the drug. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: When prescribing amiodarone, doctors need to keep in mind that this medication may increase cancer risk. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: We suggest that cancer events should be routinely reported in future amiodarone trials, and further observational research is necessary.


Amiodarone and the Risk of Cancer – A Nationwide Population-Based Study

Su, V. Y.-F., Hu, Y.-W., Chou, K.-T., Ou, S.-M., Lee, Y.-C., Lin, E. Y.-H., Chen, T.-J.,
Tzeng, C.-H. and Liu, C.-J. (2013), Amiodarone and the risk of cancer. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27881