Spinal fusions: Long-term data on cancer risks associated with BMP: 4 findings


A new study published in The Spine Journal examines long-term data on the risk for cancer associated with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein use in spinal fusions.


The study authors examined cancer risk in spinal fusion with and without rhBMP who underwent surgery between Jan. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2010. Medtronic Sofamor Danek contributed support to the study, but the abstract states: "The investigators alone, and not Medtronic, were solely responsible for the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of this study."

Four key findings:

1. Of the 16,914 patients who underwent spinal fusions, 4,246 received BMP and 1,342 patients overall received a cancer diagnosis.

2. The cancer rate was similar between the rhBPM and non-rhBMP groups.

3. The researchers also found rhBMP wasn't associated with increased cancer types or cancer-specific mortality after a cancer diagnosis.

4. The study authors concluded, "Long-term follow-up confirms previous findings that rhBMP application treated with elective spinal fusion did not result in an increased cancer risk in a large population of U.S. adults."

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