New Investigators: Dr. Omid Zahedi Niaki, Dr. Mary Lu, Dr. Basile Tessier Cloutier, Dr. Giordano Egiziano, Dr. Marius Diaconescu, and Dr. Kenjey Chan Funding Source: Canadian Institute for Health Research and National Institutes of Health

The potential links between cancer and rheumatic diseases are indeed fascinating. Funded by NIH and CIHR, the SLICC group in collaboration with other international investigators has confirmed an altered cancer profile in systemic lupus (SLE) versus the general population. This altered profile includes an increased risk of some cancers in SLE (particularly non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, NHL) and a decreased risk of others (e.g. breast). Our case-cohort analyses so far, do not implicate SLE drugs as a strong risk factor, aside from cyclophosphamide, which may play a role in some hematologic cancers. We plan a new set of studies to update all these data sets, and to pursue novel objectives to assess if specific autoantibodies correlate with cancer risk. A significant number of publications attests to the efforts of this group lead by Dr. Sasha Bernatsky; the most relevant publications are noted below.


  • 1.Chan K, Clarke AE, Ramsey-Goldman R, Foulkes W, Tessier Cloutier B, Urowitz MB, Gladman D, Nived O, Romero-Diaz J, Petri M, Ginzler E, Fortin PR, Bae SC,Wallace DJ, Yelin EH, Bernatsky S. Breast cancer in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): receptor status and treatment. Lupus. 2017 Jan 1:961203317713146. doi: 10.1177/0961203317713146. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28595511.
  • 2.Bernatsky S, Ramsey-Goldman R, Labrecque J, Joseph L, Boivin JF, Petri M, Zoma A, Manzi S, Urowitz MB, Gladman D, Fortin PR, Ginzler E, Yelin E, Bae SC, Wallace DJ, Edworthy S, Jacobsen S, Gordon C, Dooley MA, Peschken CA, Hanly JG, Alarcón GS, Nived O, Ruiz-Irastorza G, Isenberg D, Rahman A, Witte T, Aranow C, Kamen DL,Steinsson K, Askanase A, Barr S, Criswell LA, Sturfelt G, Patel NM, Senécal JL, Zummer M, Pope JE, Ensworth S, El-Gabalawy H, McCarthy T, Dreyer L, Sibley J, St Pierre Y, Clarke AE. Cancer risk in systemic lupus: an updated international multi-centre cohort study. J Autoimmun. 2013 May;42:130-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2012.12.009. Epub 2013 Feb 12. PubMed PMID: 23410586; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3646904.
  • 3.Bernatsky S, Ramsey-Goldman R, Joseph L, Boivin JF, Costenbader KH, Urowitz MB, Gladman DD, Fortin PR, Nived O, Petri MA, Jacobsen S, Manzi S, Ginzler EM, Isenberg D, Rahman A, Gordon C, Ruiz-Irastorza G, Yelin E, Bae SC, Wallace DJ, Peschken CA, Dooley MA, Edworthy SM, Aranow C, Kamen DL, Romero-Diaz J, Askanase A, Witte T, Barr SG, Criswell LA, Sturfelt GK, Blanco I, Feldman CH, Dreyer L, Patel NM, St Pierre Y, Clarke AE. Lymphoma risk in systemic lupus: effects of disease activity versus treatment. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Jan;73(1):138-42. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202099. Epub 2013 Jan 8. PubMed PMID: 23303389; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3855611.
  • 4.Noble PW, Bernatsky S, Clarke AE, Isenberg DA, Ramsey-Goldman R, Hansen JE. DNA-damaging autoantibodies and cancer: the lupus butterfly theory. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2016 Jul;12(7):429-34. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2016.23. Epub 2016 Mar 24.Review. PubMed PMID: 27009542.
  • 5.Bernatsky S, Clarke AE, Labrecque J, von Scheven E, Schanberg LE, Silverman ED, Brunner HI, Haines KA, Cron RQ, O’Neil KM, Oen K, Rosenberg AM, Duffy CM, Joseph L, Lee JL, Kale M, Turnbull EM, Ramsey-Goldman R. Cancer risk in childhood-onset systemic lupus. Arthritis Res Ther. 2013;15(6):R198. PubMed PMID: 24267155; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3978586.

Contribute to SLICC Group


Contribute to SLICC Group