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J R Soc Med. 1987 July; 80(7): 428–429.
PMCID: PMC1290904

Association between azathioprine therapy and lymphoma in rheumatoid disease.


Three out of 41 patients treated with azathioprine and low-dose corticosteroids from 1976 to 1983 developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This strikingly high incidence of lymphoma may be a reflection of long-term use of azathioprine.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Lewis P, Hazleman BL, Hanka R, Roberts S. Cause of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with particular reference to azathioprine. Ann Rheum Dis. 1980 Oct;39(5):457–461. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Prior P, Symmons DP, Hawkins CF, Scott DL, Brown R. Cancer morbidity in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 1984 Apr;43(2):128–131. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Jack AS, Boyce BF, Lee FD. Malignant histiocytosis complicating rheumatoid arthritis: report of four cases. J Clin Pathol. 1986 Jan;39(1):16–21. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Zulman J, Jaffe R, Talal N. Evidence that the malignant lymphoma of Sjögren's syndrome is a monoclonal B-cell neoplasm. N Engl J Med. 1978 Nov 30;299(22):1215–1220. [PubMed]
  • Hunter T, Urowitz MB, Gordon DA, Smythe HA, Ogryzlo MA. Azathioprine in rheumatoid arthritis: a long-term follow-up study. Arthritis Rheum. 1975 Jan-Feb;18(1):15–20. [PubMed]

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