Clinical Trial Will Study the Effects of Arthritis Medication on Cancer Patients with Inflammatory Arthritis


August 22, 2023 (Vancouver) Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are new cancer treatments that activate the immune system in order to fight cancer. They have revolutionized cancer outcomes, but their use is limited by the development of new autoimmune reactions, one of them being inflammatory arthritis (ICI-IA) which can be severe and significantly impact the quality of life. The optimal treatment of these autoimmune reactions is unknown.

Short-term use of TNF alpha inhibitors has been to stop bowel inflammation, allowing patients to resume their cancer therapy, without interfering with their cancer outcomes. In this study, investigators will conduct a clinical trial comparing short-term use of a TNF alpha inhibitor (Adalimumab) to usual care to see if this is effective in “turning off” the arthritis, preventing long-term joint inflammation, and allowing ongoing cancer treatment.

This study aims to answer two fundamental questions:

1. Are TNF inhibitors a good option to induce remission for cancer patients who developed inflammatory arthritis as a side effect of their cancer treatment?

2. Can Adalimumab be used to reduce the requirement of steroids and turn off chronic inflammation without negatively impacting cancer therapy?

“This study will be conducted at multiple sites across Canada,” said Shahin Jamal, Arthritis Research Canada Clinician Investigator. “The results of this study will hopefully give us some insight into optimal early treatment of patients with ICI-induced arthritis and help us to design larger studies in the future. As immune checkpoint inhibitors are used in more cancer types, it is important to understand how to manage and prevent toxicities, particularly those that significantly impact quality of life, without negatively impacting cancer treatment outcomes. ”



Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. Arthritis Research Canada’s scientific director, Dr. Diane Lacaille is leading a team of over 100 researchers, trainees and staff whose life-changing research is creating a future where people living with arthritis have the knowledge and tools to triumph over pain and disability. Arthritis Research Canada is now conducting arthritis research from coast to coast with centres in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and scientists affiliated with seven major universities: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, Université Laval, McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Dalhousie University. Arthritis Research Canada is leading research aimed at preventing arthritis, facilitating early diagnosis, finding new and better treatments, and improving quality of life.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Victoria Rubio
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Arthritis Research Canada
604-207-4010 or vrubio@arthritisresearch.ca

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