Introduction: Analgesics have been linked to an increased risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but the evidence is mixed. Using a meta-analysis design of all available studies, we investigated the association between analgesic use and RCC risk.

Methods: We searched the MEDLINE database to identify eligible case-control or cohort studies published in English from 1966 to July 1, 2011 for 3 categories of analgesics: acetaminophen, aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Study-specific effect estimates were pooled to compute an overall relative risk (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI), using a random effects model, for each category of the analgesics. Analyses were conducted according to regular/any use and high dose or long-duration of use, separately.

Results: We identified 18 studies (12 for acetaminophen, 12 for aspirin, and 5 for other NSAIDs) that were performed in 6 countries. Regular/any use of acetaminophen and other NSAIDs were each associated with an increased risk of RCC: pooled RR, 1.33 (95% CI 1.18–1.49) for acetaminophen and 1.26 (95% CI, 1.09–1.44) for other NSAIDs, respectively. For use of aspirin, we found no significant increased risk (pooled RR, 1.14 [95% CI, 0.98–1.33]). Similar risk trends were seen with high dose of analgesics intake. No significant difference in associations was found by study design (case-control vs. cohort), type of controls in case-control study (population based vs. hospital based), outcome (RCC vs. kidney cancer), and gender (male vs. female). There was no indication of publication bias for the 3 analgesics. Conclusions: In this meta-analysis of analgesics use and RCC risk, we found that use of acetaminophen and non-aspirin NSAIDs was associated with a significant increased risk of developing RCC.

Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2011;4(10 Suppl):B87.