Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may be protected against cancer because of increased immune surveillance. However, aberrant T/B cell functioning in MS may increase the risk of cancer. We aimed to compare the frequency of cancer among patients with MS with an appropriate control group matched by the variables such as age, gender, tobacco smoking history, body mass index (BMI), and family history of cancer. Materials and methods: The MS patients who were registered and followed up at the MS Center in Hacettepe University Hospitals and appropriately matched with controls were included. A self-administered questionnaire with links to the online survey was delivered. Results: Overall, 1037 responses out of 2074 in MS patients and 506 responses out of 1500 control group were included. Fourteen (1.35%) of MS patients and 18 (3.6%) of the controls were diagnosed with cancer. The odds ratio of having cancer in patients with MS compared to the control group was 0.389 (95% CI = 0.161-0.940, p < 0.05). Conclusion: There was no statistically significant difference in age, gender, tobacco smoking, and BMI between the groups after propensity score matching. The odds of having cancer were lower in our MS patients compared to the controls. The autoimmune changes responsible for the pathogenesis of MS may be responsible for the decrease in cancer risk.


Multiple sclerosis, cancer, risk factors, immune system

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