Does Psoriasis Increase Lung Cancer Risk?

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: January 17, 2023

Following observational studies that suggested an association between psoriasis and lung cancer risk, researchers performed Mendelian randomization analyses and a meta-analysis of genetic datasets to attempt to identify any casual association between psoriasis and lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.

According to the study, researchers found no evidence of a causal genetic relationship between psoriasis and lung cancer or its subtypes. The authors proposed that shared risk factors between the diseases, such as smoking, could have confounded the association described by the observational studies. The findings were published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

Genetic Analyses Don’t Support Proasis and Lung Cancer Link

Researchers obtained genetic data on psoriasis and lung cancer from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and studies of the International Lung Cancer Consortium, respectively. The authors explained that Mendelian randomization analysis utilizes genetic information to assess exposures and outcomes, and is less susceptible to underlying confounders.

Between-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) heterogeneity was observed in most of the Mendelian randomization analyses, while horizontal pleiotropy was not consistent between all analyses, leading the authors to select a multiplicative random-effect inverse variance weighted (IVW-MRE) approach to analyses.

Authors stated that both IVW-MRE assessments from both Mendelian randomization analyses indicated that psoriasis was not casually associated with lung cancer or its subtypes. The report noted that sensitivity analyses using other Mendelian randomization approaches reached similar conclusions.

“Although genetic evidence did not support the causal relationship,” the researchers concluded, “we should still strengthen the management of psoriasis patients, such as cancer screening and smoking cessation, to reduce the odds of lung cancer.”

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