Drug may raise bladder cancer risk

Oct. 28, 2009 at 1:10 PM

HANOVER, N.H., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Taking immune system-suppressing glucocorticoids may raise bladder cancer risk, U.S. researchers said.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, examined the long-term use of glucocorticoids -- drugs used in combination with other drugs to prevent transplanted organ rejection and also to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Previous research has shown an association between such drug therapies and higher risk of skin cancer and lymphoma. A similar risk for bladder cancer "might indicate the need for closer monitoring of individuals who regularly take glucocorticoids," the study authors said in a statement.

The Dartmouth Medical School research team, led by epidemiologist Margaret Karagas, examined the long-term use of glucocorticoids by 786 bladder-cancer patients and by 1,083 controls.

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