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Atopic Dermatitis Linked to Skin and Kidney Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lily Wang

Student at University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response:  Impaired skin barrier and aberrant immune function in atopic dermatitis (AD) may impact immune response to malignancy. Conflicting data exist on the risk of cancer in patients with AD. The purpose of our study was to determine the risk of non-cutaneous and cutaneous cancers in patients with atopic dermatitis compared to the general population (i.e. without AD). 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We included eight population-based cohort studies and 48 case-control studies. In population-based cohort studies, atopic dermatitis was significantly associated with keratinocyte carcinoma among 5 studies and kidney cancer among 2 studies. Case-control studies demonstrated lower odds of lung and respiratory system cancers among 4 studies. There were conflicting associations among cohort and case-control studies in regard to pancreas and central nervous system cancers. There was no evidence of association between atopic dermatitis and other cancer types.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: There is observational evidence suggesting potential associations between atopic dermatitis and increased risk of keratinocyte carcinoma and kidney cancer, and lower odds of lung and respiratory system cancers. However, more research is needed to address heterogeneity and biases across existing studies in order to make definitive conclusions.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Further research with clearly defined criteria for atopic dermatitis diagnosis, adjustment for key confounders, and details on atopic dermatitis severity and treatment are required to better understand the mechanism underlying the relationship between atopic dermatitis and cancer.

No disclosures


Wang L, Bierbrier R, Drucker AM, Chan A. Noncutaneous and Cutaneous Cancer Risk in Patients With Atopic DermatitisA Systematic Review and Meta-analysisJAMA Dermatol. Published online December 11, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.3786


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Last Modified: Dec 11, 2019 @ 5:48 pm 

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