Background: Cancer had never been considered as a relevant problem in patients treated with lithium until 2015, when a document published by the European Medicine Agency concluded that long-term use of lithium might induce renal tumors. A few months later, we observed the case of a woman treated with lithium for 18 years who was diagnosed with both thyroid and renal tumors. Methods: This study aimed to investigate the correlation between lithium treatment and thyroid or renal tumors. We analyzed clinical records in our lithium clinic database, causes of death of patients who had been visited at least once at the lithium clinic, reports of lithium adverse reactions in the European and WHO pharmacovigilance databases, and published cases of thyroid and renal tumors in long-term lithium-treated patients. Results: Of the 1871 lithium patients who had been visited at least once between 1980 and 2013, eight had been diagnosed with thyroid papillary carcinoma and two with clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma. No cases of thyroid cancer and only one case of renal tumor were the cause of death according to the 375 available death certificates. VigiAccess database contained a total of 29 and 14 cases of renal and thyroid tumors, respectively. EudraVigilance database contained 21 cases of renal and 8 of thyroid neoplasms. Literature search yielded 6 published cases of thyroid papillary carcinoma and 25 cases of various renal tumors. However, two population-based studies did not find any increased risks of cancer in patients exposed to lithium, whereas two nationwide studies did not find any excess of renal tumors. Conclusion: So far it has not been possible epidemiologically to confirm an increased risk of thyroid or renal cancers associated with lithium. Such a conclusion is supported by the findings of low rates and mortalities of thyroid or renal cancers from the present lithium clinic data.

Thyroid and renal tumors in patients treated with long-term lithium: case series from a lithium clinic, review of the literature and international pharmacovigilance reports

Ambrosiani, Luca
Primo
;
Pisanu, Claudia;Deidda, Arianna;Bocchetta, Alberto
2018

Abstract

Background: Cancer had never been considered as a relevant problem in patients treated with lithium until 2015, when a document published by the European Medicine Agency concluded that long-term use of lithium might induce renal tumors. A few months later, we observed the case of a woman treated with lithium for 18 years who was diagnosed with both thyroid and renal tumors. Methods: This study aimed to investigate the correlation between lithium treatment and thyroid or renal tumors. We analyzed clinical records in our lithium clinic database, causes of death of patients who had been visited at least once at the lithium clinic, reports of lithium adverse reactions in the European and WHO pharmacovigilance databases, and published cases of thyroid and renal tumors in long-term lithium-treated patients. Results: Of the 1871 lithium patients who had been visited at least once between 1980 and 2013, eight had been diagnosed with thyroid papillary carcinoma and two with clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma. No cases of thyroid cancer and only one case of renal tumor were the cause of death according to the 375 available death certificates. VigiAccess database contained a total of 29 and 14 cases of renal and thyroid tumors, respectively. EudraVigilance database contained 21 cases of renal and 8 of thyroid neoplasms. Literature search yielded 6 published cases of thyroid papillary carcinoma and 25 cases of various renal tumors. However, two population-based studies did not find any increased risks of cancer in patients exposed to lithium, whereas two nationwide studies did not find any excess of renal tumors. Conclusion: So far it has not been possible epidemiologically to confirm an increased risk of thyroid or renal cancers associated with lithium. Such a conclusion is supported by the findings of low rates and mortalities of thyroid or renal cancers from the present lithium clinic data.
EudraVigilance; Lithium; Renal cancer; Thyroid cancer; VigiAccess
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/250296
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