Metal Implant Allergy Linked to Rare Skin Cancer

Share this content:
Researchers say testing patients for adverse reaction from some metal implants may be needed.
Researchers say testing patients for adverse reaction from some metal implants may be needed.

A rare type of skin cancer has been linked to allergic reactions to metal implants, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The study's authors described the case of a woman who had a metal rod implanted to repair a broken ankle, and later developed a skin rash near the site of the implant. Doctors determined that the patient was allergic to nickel in the implant and removed the metal rod. However, the woman's skin rash persisted. A few years later, a rare form of skin cancer -- Marjolin's ulcer -- developed at the woman's rash site. Doctors removed the cancer.

In experiments with mice, the researchers showed that chronic skin inflammation caused by continuous skin contact with allergens can lead to tumor development.

RELATED: Presence of Painful Itch May Signal Skin Cancer

Patients who have metal devices implanted near the skin may need to be monitored for this type of inflammation, said the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. They added that their findings also raise the question of whether patients should be tested for metal allergies before receiving metal implants.

Study leader Shadmehr Demehri, M.D., said allergen-free versions of some implants are available. "These versions may cost more or be less durable, but for some patients with sensitivity to metals, they may be the best option," Demehri, a dermatologist, said in a university news release.

Reference

  1. Demehri, Shadmehr, et al. "Chronic allergic contact dermatitis promotes skin cancer." The Journal of Clinical Investigation. doi:10.1172/JCI77843. October 8, 2014.

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters



Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs