Background: Topical calcineurin inhibitors have been used to treat vitiligo, either alone or in combination with phototherapy; however, the long-term safety of these agents remains controversial. Objective: To investigate the risk of lymphoma and skin cancer in vitiligo patients who received topical calcineurin inhibitors or phototherapy. Methods: A multicenter retrospective cohort study of 25,694 vitiligo patients who received topical calcineurin inhibitors or phototherapy for 6 weeks or more between 2001 and 2019 was performed. Cumulative doses of topical calcineurin inhibitors and total phototherapy sessions were determined. Outcomes were the development of lymphoma or skin cancer after enrollment, confirmed through chart review and pathology reports. Results: During 95,203 person-years, 13 cases of lymphoma, 22 of actinic keratosis, 15 of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and 5 of melanoma were observed. The risk of lymphoma and skin cancer was not significantly increased by topical calcineurin inhibitor dose or phototherapy sessions. The interaction between the topical calcineurin inhibitors and phototherapy was not associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. Limitations: Retrospective study, individual follow-up duration less than 4 years, and no adjustment for comorbidities and medication history. Not generalizable to other races. Conclusion: The long-term risk of skin cancer or lymphoma was not associated with the use of topical calcineurin inhibitors, phototherapy, and both treatments in combination in patients with vitiligo.
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© 2021 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.
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