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Open Access 08-06-2024 | Systemic Lupus Erythematosus | Comorbidities

Malignancy in systemic lupus erythematosus: relation to disease characteristics in 92 patients – a single center retrospective study

Authors: Joanna Kosałka-Węgiel, Renata Pacholczak-Madej, Radosław Dziedzic, Andżelika Siwiec-Koźlik, Magdalena Spałkowska, Mamert Milewski, Lech Zaręba, Stanisława Bazan-Socha, Mariusz Korkosz

Published in: Rheumatology International

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Abstract

Objective

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease with a variable clinical manifestation, potentially leading to death. Importantly, patients with SLE have an increased risk of neoplastic disorders. Thus, this study aimed to comprehensively evaluate the clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with SLE and with or without malignancy.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical records of 932 adult Caucasian patients with SLE treated at the University Hospital in Kraków, Poland, from 2012 to 2022. We collected demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics, but also treatment modalities with disease outcomes.

Results

Among 932 patients with SLE, malignancy was documented in 92 (9.87%), with 7 (7.61%) patients experiencing more than one such complication. Non-hematologic malignancies were more prevalent (n = 77, 83.7%) than hematologic malignancies (n = 15, 16.3%). Patients with SLE and malignancy had a higher mean age of SLE onset and a longer mean disease duration than patients without malignancy (p < 0.001 and p = 0.027, respectively). The former group also presented more frequently with weight loss (odds ratio [OR] = 2.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.61–4.23, p < 0.001), fatigue/weakness (OR = 2.10, 95% CI 1.22–3.77, p = 0.005), and fever (OR = 1.68, 95% CI 1.06–2.69, p = 0.024). In the malignancy-associated group, we noticed a higher prevalence of some clinical manifestations, such as pulmonary hypertension (OR = 3.47, 95% CI 1.30–8.42, p = 0.007), lung involvement (OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.35–4.92, p = 0.003) with pleural effusion (OR = 2.39, 95% CI 1.43–3.94, p < 0.001), and anemia (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.29–4.38, p = 0.006). Moreover, the patients with SLE and malignancy more frequently had internal comorbidities, including peripheral arterial obliterans disease (OR = 3.89, 95% CI 1.86–7.75, p < 0.001), myocardial infarction (OR = 3.08, 95% CI 1.41–6.30, p = 0.003), heart failure (OR = 2.94, 95% CI 1.30–6.17, p = 0.005), diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.15, 95% CI 1.14–3.91, p = 0.011), hypothyroidism (OR = 2.08, 95% CI 1.29–3.34, p = 0.002), arterial hypertension (OR = 1.97, 95% CI 1.23–3.23, p = 0.003), and hypercholesterolemia (OR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.18-3.00, p = 0.006). Patients with SLE and malignancy were treated more often with aggressive immunosuppressive therapies, including cyclophosphamide (OR = 2.07, 95% CI 1.30–3.28, p = 0.002), however median cumulative cyclophosphamide dose in malignancy-associated SLE subgroup was 0 g (0–2 g). Interestingly, over a median follow-up period of 14 years (ranges: 8–22 years) a total of 47 patients with SLE died, with 16 cases (5.28%) in the malignancy-associated SLE group and 31 cases (5.73%) in the non-malignancy SLE group (p = 0.76). The most common causes of death were infections (21.28%) and SLE exacerbation (8.51%).

Conclusion

The study highlights the relatively frequent presence of malignancies in patients with SLE, a phenomenon that demands oncological vigilance, especially in patients with a severe clinical course and comorbidities, to improve long-term outcomes in these patients.
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Metadata
Title
Malignancy in systemic lupus erythematosus: relation to disease characteristics in 92 patients – a single center retrospective study
Authors
Joanna Kosałka-Węgiel
Renata Pacholczak-Madej
Radosław Dziedzic
Andżelika Siwiec-Koźlik
Magdalena Spałkowska
Mamert Milewski
Lech Zaręba
Stanisława Bazan-Socha
Mariusz Korkosz
Publication date
08-06-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
Rheumatology International
Print ISSN: 0172-8172
Electronic ISSN: 1437-160X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-024-05623-3
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