Navigation Links
Anemia Drugs May Cause Deadly Blood Clots
Date:11/10/2009

Study raises more concerns about common treatment for chemo patients,,

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- New research on cancer patients adds to the controversy surrounding anemia drugs such as Procrit and Aranesp, concluding that they increase the risk of venous thromboembolism, potentially fatal blood clots.

These drugs, called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), are commonly prescribed to fight anemia associated with chemotherapy and chronic kidney disease. Recent studies have linked them with increased risk of death, stroke and new cancers.

"These drugs hit the market in the mid-1990s, and by 2002, 50 percent of patients on chemotherapy were receiving them," said lead researcher Dr. Dawn Hershman, co-director of the breast program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Initial testing of these drugs was done on only 12 weeks of use, she noted. "Right from the beginning, there was concern that these drugs would cause some side effects, but the initial studies did not find any risk of thrombosis."

Her longer study was more informative. "We confirmed that these agents can increase the risk of thrombosis by twofold," Hershman added.

The report is published in the Nov. 10 online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in advance of print publication on Dec. 2.

For the study, Hershman's team collected data on 56,210 cancer patients treated with chemotherapy from 1991 through 2002. Of these patients, 15,346 also received ESAs.

The researchers found that 14.3 percent of patients receiving ESAs developed thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) compared with 9.8 percent of those who did not receive an ESA.

ESAs stimulate red blood cell production and are intended to reduce the number of blood transfusions needed during chemotherapy. However, the rate of blood transfusions remained the same for both groups (22 percent). Survival in both groups was also similar, the researchers noted.

"These agents were approved to reduce the risk of blood transfusions by 50 percent," Hershman said. "There was absolutely no difference in the transfusion rate over the 10-year period from when these drugs hit the market," she said. "The majority of patients are getting these drugs and receiving transfusions."

Based on concerns raised by earlier studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007 required a black box warning label on ESAs about the risk for venous thromboembolism, tumor promotion and death. The warning suggested restricting the use of ESAs to specific tumor types, and addressed dosage, duration and targeted hemoglobin levels.

In 2006, U.S. sales of ESAs were $10 billion and accounted for the largest Medicare expenditure for any drug.

Hershman thinks the findings raise questions about the drug's approval process and whether adequate post-marketing research was undertaken to ensure their long-term safety.

These drugs do have a place, she said. "But we have to figure out what the best indication is and use every agent with caution. We should think about the drugs that we give."

Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said that "this study is one more in a list of several that suggests the value of ESAs was less than originally hoped, and the side effects were greater than previously understood."

Patients and doctors should be aware of all the risks and benefits before using the drugs, he said.

"If you are going to be treated with these drugs, do so with caution, do so with understanding, have a discussion with your physician about the need for these drugs and what the potential difficulties may be," he said.

More information

For more information on ESAs, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: Dawn Hershman, M.D., co-director, breast cancer program, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Nov. 10, 2009, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Anemia and tropical diseases; Is pharmacogenomics ready for the clinic?
2. Controversial Anemia Drug Doesnt Cut Need for Transfusions
3. Cancer Doctors Across America Stunned at Governments Ruling Restricting Anemia Management Protocols for Cancer Patients, Call Ruling Interference in Practice of Medicine
4. Simpler Anemia Treatment May Help Kidney Patients
5. FDA Issues New Warnings for Anemia Drugs
6. New anemia measure predicts risk of death in dialysis patients
7. FDA Approves MIRCERA(R): First Renal Anemia Treatment with Monthly Maintenance Dosing
8. New Kind of Stem Cells Reverse Sickle Cell Anemia
9. Evidence links anemia drugs with leukemic transformation in patients with primary myelofibrosis
10. Modeling Simulation Predicts Potential Negative Impact on U.S. Blood Supply if ESA Use Limited for Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia
11. FDA Reports New Risks Posed by Anemia Drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s ... experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally ... care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective ... operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare ... Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during ... , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Mich. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... has been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by ... Brightest in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... latest in wound care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors ... "Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... results for the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, ... call on that day with the investment community and ... The conference call will begin at 9 a.m. ... access a live webcast of the conference call through ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans ... advance the use of wearable and home sensors for ... disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ... will provide an affordable analytical system to record and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: