Dr. Sanjay Murthy | University of Ottawa
Research: Defining cancer risk in inflammatory bowel diseases: A multi-provincial population-based analysis of temporal trends and the impact of biologic therapies for intestinal and extra-intestinal cancers
Cancer remains the most common cause of death among people with IBD. Reducing the risks of cancer, hospitalization and intestinal surgery are principal goals of IBD care. Most data on the risks of these adverse events in people with IBD predate widespread adoption of major IBD treatment advances over the past 10 to 15 years, particularly biologic therapies. There are limited and conflicting reports of cancer risk specifically relating to biologic therapies. While the risk of intestinal cancer may directly relate to bowel inflammation, extra-intestinal cancers are more often related to IBD treatments. It is possible improved disease control from biologic and other immunosuppressive therapies reduced the rates of intestinal cancers, while greater use of immunosuppression over time increased the rates of extra-intestinal cancers. Additionally, improved disease control from biologic therapies may have reduced the risks of hospitalizations and surgeries in this population. Considering the rising IBD prevalence and costs of caring for IBD worldwide, there is a need to re-evaluate the present-day risks of these adverse health events in order to develop cost-effective strategies of care that prioritize high-risk groups.
Dr. Murthy and his team are combining population-level data from six provinces, comprising 75 percent of all people with IBD in Canada, to develop national estimates of time trends and current risks of cancers and cancer-related deaths, hospitalizations and bowel surgeries faced by people with IBD. Along with helping to shape healthcare policy, the project’s findings will improve shared decision-making about treatment and cancer prevention between people with IBD and their healthcare providers.