Vol 8, No 2 (2022)
Review paper
Published online: 2022-06-23

open access

Page views 4266
Article views/downloads 628
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Risk of cancers in polymyositis and dermatomyositis

Bogna Grygiel-Górniak1, Jakub Soska1, Włodzimierz Samborski1
Rheumatology Forum 2022;8(2):69-76.


Idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) is a rare autoimmune disease that women are more often diagnosed. The most common IIM are polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM). More often than in other rheumatic diseases, various neoplasms develop in their course (CAM, cancer-associated myositis). The most common cancers included ovarian and reproductive organs cancer, breast, lung, gastrointestinal and hematopoietic cancer (mainly non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas), melanoma, and nasopharyngeal cancer (the last one is widespread in Southeast Asia). It is worth emphasizing that a neoplastic disease may develop in IIM, and IIM may be a factor influencing the initiation of carcinogenic processes. The presented manuscript discusses the symptoms occurring in their course CAM and the risk factors for cancer development in detail. The importance of clinical observation of patients with PM/DM and the necessity of quick oncological diagnostics in the case of suspicion of such a process was discussed and emphasized (including the importance of screening tests).

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Oldroyd A, Lilleker J, Chinoy H. Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies – a guide to subtypes, diagnostic approach and treatment. Clinical Medicine. 2017; 17(4): 322–328.
  2. Greenberg SA. Inflammatory myopathies: evaluation and management. Semin Neurol. 2008; 28(2): 241–249.
  3. Puszczewicz M. Reumatologia. In: Wielka Interna. Wyd. I. Medical Tribune Polska, Warszawa 2010: 148–157.
  4. Dąbrowski P, Świder G, Dąbrowska M, et al. Zapalenie mięśni jako manifestacja choroby nowotworowej – opis trzech przypadków. Przegląd Medyczny Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego i Narodowego Instytutu Leków w Warszawie, Rzeszów. 2012; 4: 523–528.
  5. Qiang JK, Kim WB, Baibergenova A, et al. Risk of Malignancy in Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis. J Cutan Med Surg. 2017; 21(2): 131–136.
  6. András C, Bodoki L, Nagy-Vincze M, et al. Retrospective Analysis of Cancer-Associated Myositis Patients over the Past 3 Decades in a Hungarian Myositis Cohort. Pathology & Oncology Research. 2020; 26: 1749–1755.
  7. Buchbinder R, Forbes A, Hall S, et al. Incidence of malignant disease in biopsy-proven inflammatory myopathy. A population-based cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2001; 134(12): 1087–1095.
  8. International Agency for Research on Cancer Europe. https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/908-europe-fact-sheets.pdf (January 2022).
  9. Religioni U. Cancer incidence and mortality in Poland. Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health. 2020; 8(2): 329–334.
  10. Moghadam-Kia S, Oddis CV, Ascherman DP, et al. Risk Factors and Cancer Screening in Myositis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2020; 46(3): 565–576.
  11. Dalakas MS. Inflammatory muscle diseases. N Engl J Med. 2015; 372(18): 1734–1747.
  12. Brzosko M. Reumatologia Kliniczna. Wydawnictwo Pomorskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego, Szczecin 2010: 159-169, 270–274.
  13. Jakubaszek M, Kwiatkowska B, Maślińska M. Polymyositis and dermatomyositis as a risk of developing cancer. Reumatologia. 2015; 53(2): 101–105.
  14. Dalakas MC. Inflammatory muscle disease. N Eng J Med. 2015; 372(18): 1734–1747.
  15. Lazarou IN, Guerne PA. Classification, diagnosis, and management of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. J Rheumatol. 2013; 40(5): 550–564.
  16. Barsotti S, Dastmalchi M, Notarnicola A, et al. Performance of the new EULAR/ACR classification criteria for idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) in a large monocentric IIM cohort. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2020; 50(3): 492–497.
  17. Gunawardena H, Betteridge ZE, McHugh NJ. Myositis-specific autoantibodies: their clinical and pathologic significance in disease expression. Rheumatology. 2009; 48: 607–612.
  18. Levine SM, Rosen A, Casciola-Rosen LA. Anti-aminoacyl tRNA synthetase immune responses: insights into the pathogenesis of the idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2003; 15(6): 708–713.
  19. Ascherman DP. The role of Jo-1 in the immunopathogenesis of polymyositis: current hypotheses. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2003; 5(6): 425–430.
  20. Liu Y, Xu L, Wu H, et al. Characteristics and predictors of malignancy in dermatomyositis: Analysis of 239 patients from northern China. Oncol Lett. 2018; 16(5): 5960–5968.
  21. András C, Ponyi A, Constantin T, et al. Dermatomyositis and polymyositis associated with malignancy: a 21-year retrospective study. J Rheumatol. 2008; 35(3): 438–444.
  22. Oldroyd AGS, Allard AB, Callen JP, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis to inform cancer screening guidelines in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021; 60(6): 2615–2628.
  23. Chinoy H, Fertig N, Oddis CV, et al. The diagnostic utility of myositis autoantibody testing for predicting the risk of cancer-associated myositis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2007; 66(10): 1345–1349.
  24. Ferlay J, Colombet M, Soerjomataram I, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries and 25 major cancers in 2018. Eur J Cancer. 2018; 103: 356–387.
  25. András C, Bodoki L, Nagy-Vincze M, et al. Retrospective Analysis of Cancer-Associated Myositis Patients over the Past 3 Decades in a Hungarian Myositis Cohort. Pathol Oncol Res. 2020; 26(3): 1749–1755.
  26. Wang J, Guo G, Chen G, et al. Meta-analysis of the association of dermatomyositis and polymyositis with cancer. Br J Dermatol. 2013; 169(4): 838–847.
  27. Sutič A, Gračanin G, Morović-Vergles J. Raynaud's phenomenon – first sign of malignancy: case report. Acta Med Croatica. 2014; 68(3): 295–298.
  28. Zhang Li, Wu G, Gao Di, et al. Factors Associated with Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2016; 11(5): e0155381.
  29. Lu X, Yang H, Shu X, et al. Factors predicting malignancy in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyostis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4): e94128.
  30. Oldroyd AGS, Allard AB, Callen JP, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis to inform cancer screening guidelines in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021; 60(6): 2615–2628.
  31. Hida A, Yamashita T, Hosono Y, et al. Anti-TIF1-γ antibody and cancer-associated myositis: A clinicohistopathologic study. Neurology. 2016; 87(3): 299–308.
  32. Trallero-Araguás E, Labrador-Horrillo M, Selva-O'Callaghan A, et al. Cancer-associated myositis and anti-p155 autoantibody in a series of 85 patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. Medicine (Baltimore). 2010; 89(1): 47–52.
  33. Targoff IN, Mamyrova G, Trieu EP, et al. Childhood Myositis Heterogeneity Study Group, International Myositis Collaborative Study Group. A novel autoantibody to a 155-kd protein is associated with dermatomyositis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006; 54(11): 3682–3689.
  34. Kaji K, Fujimoto M, Hasegawa M, et al. Identification of a novel autoantibody reactive with 155 and 140 kDa nuclear proteins in patients with dermatomyositis: an association with malignancy. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007; 46(1): 25–28.
  35. Maliha PG, Hudson M, Abikhzer G, et al. 18F-FDG PET/CT versus conventional investigations for cancer screening in autoimmune inflammatory myopathy in the era of novel myopathy classifications. Nucl Med Commun. 2019; 40(4): 377–382.
  36. Lim CH, Tseng CW, Lin CT, et al. The clinical application of tumor markers in the screening of malignancies and interstitial lung disease of dermatomyositis/polymyositis patients: A retrospective study. SAGE Open Med. 2018; 6: 2050312118781895.
  37. García-De La Torre I. Clinical Usefulness of Autoantibodies in Idiopathic Inflammatory Myositis. Front Immunol. 2015; 6: 331.
  38. Leatham H, Schadt C, Chisolm S, et al. Evidence supports blind screening for internal malignancy in dermatomyositis: Data from 2 large US dermatology cohorts. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(2): e9639.
  39. Sparsa A, Liozon E, Herrmann F, et al. Routine vs extensive malignancy search for adult dermatomyositis and polymyositis: a study of 40 patients. Arch Dermatol. 2002; 138(7): 885–890.
  40. Tieu J, Lundberg IE, Limaye V. Idiopathic inflammatory myositis. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2016; 30(1): 149–168.
  41. Oddis CV, Reed AM, Aggarwal R, et al. RIM Study Group. Rituximab in the treatment of refractory adult and juvenile dermatomyositis and adult polymyositis: a randomized, placebo-phase trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2013; 65(2): 314–324.