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Can Tremfya cause cancer?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 23, 2021.

Official answer


There is a slightly higher risk of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) in people taking Tremfya compared with those taking adalimumab but combined data from clinical trials indicate that apart from NMSC and cervical cancer in situ, the risk of cancer is not increased in people taking Tremfya compared to the general US population.

In the Voyage 1 study, 0.6% of Tremfya-treated patients (2 out of 329) and 0.3% of adalimumab-treated patients (1 out of 333) developed basal cell carcinomas (BCC) after 48 weeks. Other cancers, such as those of the breast or prostate, occurred in 0.6% of patients treated with Tremfya. In the Voyage 2 study, 3 patients treated with Tremfya developed either BCC or squamous cell carcinoma. Prostate cancer occurred in one Tremfya patient.

After 3 years of treatment in the Voyage 1 or 2 studies, 32 patients in total reported malignancies; 14 of these had NMSC and 19 had a malignancy other than NMSC. The most common cancers reported were those of the prostate or breast.

Most clinical trials investigating Tremfya excluded people from participating in the trial if they had current cancer or a previous history of cancer. There is also evidence to show that people with psoriasis have an inherent increased risk of developing several different malignancies including NMSC and lymphoma.

  • TREMFYA (guselkumab) TREMFYA - Occurrence of Malignancies 17 June 2021
  • Trafford AM, Parisi R, Kontopantelis E, Griffiths CEM, Ashcroft DM. Association of Psoriasis With the Risk of Developing or Dying of Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(12):1390–1403. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.3056

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