Study finds MS may marginally increase cervical cancer risk

A new study from China found having multiple sclerosis (MS) may marginally increase the risk of cervical cancer.

The study looked at the risk of 15 types of cancers and found ‘no causal relationship’ between the other types.

The study was called ‘Association between multiple sclerosis and cancer risk: A two-sample Mendelian randomization study’ and was published in PLOS One.

Studies looking at MS and cancer have produced mixed results. Some have suggested that the condition may protect against cancer, but others have found it may increase the risk.

Researchers at the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Centre, in Guangzhou, used a process called Mendelian randomisation to better understand the causal effect of MS on cancer risk, removing any unmeasured variables that could influence the cause and effect.

Mendelian randomisation employs genetic variations as substitutes for a particular exposure, such as using genetic markers associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis as substitutes for MS itself. This approach allows researchers to explore the relationship between the exposure and a specific outcome.

The team wrote, “This study reveals that MS is only causally associated with a marginal increased risk of cervical cancer and shows no association with other types of cancer.”

They also said that they, “suspect that the occurrence of premalignant conditions and cervical cancer might be associated with the drugs used in MS treatment.” But the team noted that more research is needed to better understand this link.