(HealthDay News) — Recent use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) in spinal arthrodesis is not associated with increased cancer risk, according to research published in the September 3 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Mick P. Kelly, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis to examine the incidence of cancer in 467,916 Medicare patients undergoing spinal arthrodesis from 2005–2010. The risk of cancer was assessed for patients exposed to BMP (average follow-up duration, 2.85 years) and for a control group (average follow-up duration, 2.94 years).

The researchers found that the relative risk of developing cancer was 0.938 after BMP exposure (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.913–0.964). In the BMP and control groups, 5.9 and 6.5% of patients, respectively, developed an invasive cancer. In males the relative risk of developing cancer after BMP exposure was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.94–1.02), while in females the relative risk was 0.93 (95% CI, 0.90–0.97). For each type of cancer except pancreatic cancer, higher incidence was seen in the control group.

“Recent clinical use of BMP was not associated with a detectable increase in the risk of cancer within a mean 2.9-year time window,” the authors write.

One or more authors received payments or services from a third party in support of this work; one or more authors disclosed ties to an entity in the biomedical arena.

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