Increased prevalence of prior malignancies and autoimmune diseases in patients diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia

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We recently reported an increased incidence of second malignancies in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). To elucidate whether this increase may be linked, not to TKI but rather to a hereditary or acquired susceptibility to develop cancer, we estimated the prevalence of malignancies, autoimmune disease (AD) and chronic inflammatory disease (CID) in CML patients prior to their CML diagnosis. Nationwide population-based registers were used to identify patients diagnosed with CML in Sweden 2002-2012 and to estimate the prevalence of other malignancies, AD and CID prior to their CML diagnosis. For each patient with CML, five matched controls were selected from the general population. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR). Nine hundred and eighty-four CML patients were assessed, representing more than 45 000 person-years of follow-up. Compared with matched controls, the prevalence of prior malignancies and AD was elevated in CML patients: OR 1.47 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20-1.82) and 1.55 (95% CI 1.21-1.98), respectively. No associations were detected between CML and previous CID. An increased prevalence of other malignancies and AD prior to the diagnosis of CML suggest that a hereditary or acquired predisposition to cancer and/or autoimmunity is involved in the pathogenesis of CML.


  • N. Gunnarsson
  • M. Höglund
  • L. Stenke
  • S. Wallberg-Jonsson
  • F. Sandin
  • M. Björkholm
  • A. Dreimane
  • M. Lambe
  • B. Markevärn
  • U. Olsson-Strömberg
  • H. Wadenvik
  • J. Richter
  • A. Själander
External organisations
  • Umeå University
  • Uppsala University Hospital
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Regional Cancer Centre Uppsala/Örebro
  • Linköping University Hospital
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Norrland University Hospital
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1562-1567
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch