Navigation Links
Anemia Drugs May Speed Tumor Growth in Some Cancer Patients
Date:6/1/2008

Widely prescribed blood-boosters might stimulate malignant cells, hasten death, study says

SUNDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Drugs used widely to treat anemia in cancer patients may actually speed progression of the cancer in certain individuals, but researchers report they may found a way to determine who those individuals are.

"We may have a test to predict whether a patient is susceptible to having their tumor progress if treated with erythropoietin and, alternatively, we may be able to predict patients it would be safe to treat with erythropoietin," study author Dr. Tony Blau, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said during a Sunday news conference at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago.

Recent controversy over erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) such as Procrit, Epogen and Aranesp has centered around whether the blood-boosting drugs should be withdrawn from the market because of troubling side effects.

In March, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted to recommend continued use of the drugs for patients on chemotherapy, unless the patient is likely to be cured. They also voted to recommend against the drugs' use in patients with breast or head and neck cancer.

Eight clinical trials now suggest these medications actually speed the growth of tumors and shorten the lives of cancer victims.

The drugs' manufacturers added a "black box" warning to the medications last November.

"There has been lots of controversy over these stimulating agents, and we have an FDA advisory committee to act on this as we speak," said Dr. Julie Gralow, director of breast oncology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle and moderator of the Sunday news conference. "The drugs offer benefits in terms of reducing anemia and reducing transfusions, but several large trials in a variety of tumor types suggest that . . . these agents may have some stimulatory effects on tumor cells, faster progression in some cases, and more death in others."

Until recently, Blau added, these drugs represented the biggest U.S. federal expenditures for oncology patients.

The results of the current study were based on analyses of tumor samples from 101 patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer who had participated in a previous phase III trial of erythropoietin.

Scientists measured levels of erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) messenger RNA (mRNA).

High levels of EpoR mRNA in patients who had undergone radiation but not surgery tended to signal a worse prognosis. There was a similar effect with Janus Kinase 2 (Jak2), the main intermediary of EpoR signaling, Blau added.

"These are preliminary findings, but they're very exciting," Gralow said. "If they hold up, they may mean that we may be able to use ESAs in targeted ways."

"These findings must be considered preliminary until confirmed," added Blau. "We believe that the definitive answer to this question lies locked in the filing cabinets of pathologists' offices that contain tumors of patients who participated in already completed phase III studies." That, of course, would be much easier than initiating entirely new studies.

A second study found the multiple drugs elderly cancer patients may already be taking could interact significantly with chemotherapy.

In particular, patients taking drugs that interfered with protein binding such as Norvasc for high blood pressure, Prilosec for heartburn, and the pain reliever Celebrex were more likely to experience hematologic side effects such as low white blood cell counts.

Patients taking drugs that act on a group of enzymes known as cytochrome p450 were more likely to experience effects such as fatigue or diarrhea. Examples of these drugs include the heart medications such as Pacerone and Cordarone.

"We found that all drugs patients are taking besides chemotherapy are likely to affect their tolerance to chemotherapy," said study author Dr. Mihaela Popa, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on cancer-related fatigue and anemia.



SOURCES: June 1, 2008, news conference with Tony Blau, M.D., associate professor, medicine, division of hematology, University of Washington, Seattle; Julie Gralow, M.D., director, breast oncology, University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle; and Mihaela Popa, M.D., Ph.D., H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Fla.; June 1, 2008, presentation, American Society for Clinical Oncology, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Mission Pharmacal Launches Ferralet(R) 90 for Treatment of the Leading Cause of Anemia in the U.S.
2. Twin findings raise hopes of improved anemia treatments
3. Anemia Triples Risk of Local Recurrence in Breast Cancer Patients
4. FDA Panel Supports Anemia Drugs for Cancer Patients
5. FDA Panel Weighs Safety of Anemia Drugs for Cancer Patients
6. UT Southwestern researchers investigate predictors for sickle-cell-anemia complications
7. Drugs used for cancer-associated anemia linked with increased risk of blood clots, death
8. Anemia Drugs for Cancer Patients Increase Death Risk
9. Anemia treatment may be a double-edged sword
10. FDA Reports New Risks Posed by Anemia Drugs
11. Modeling Simulation Predicts Potential Negative Impact on U.S. Blood Supply if ESA Use Limited for Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... , ... March 30, 2017 , ... ... the live audio conference “ Preventing Hospital Readmissions Through Discharge Planning ” with ... at 1:00 pm ET. This conference discusses strategies to prevent readmissions in light ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... squash, announced it has enlisted New York City-based sports and entertainment marketing firm ... and procure sponsorship opportunities for the Professional Squash Association (PSA), which includes first-time ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 30, 2017 , ... Sublime Naturals and its founder, Kathy Heshelow, ... Spice", it has been used for thousands of years. , "The West has caught ... of " Turmeric: How to Use it For Your Wellness. Overcome Inflammation, Enemy of ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... Based ... into the challenges employers face in trying to balance both short-term and long-term ... programs? Adding to the growing complexity, companies are finding that the short-term ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... Device Library for documenting and diagramming network and data center assets and audio-video ... NetZoom subscribers can request new equipment shapes for free and download shapes and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... , Mar. 29, 2017 Research and Markets has ... at Proton Therapy Centers & Forecast" report to their offering. ... Proton Therapy Market in ... its market value in 2016. There are currently three proton therapy centers ... to treat more patients. In Italy , the first ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  Providence Medical Technology, Inc., an innovator ... two industry veterans to the commercial leadership team.  ... to lead Global Marketing, and Michael Scott ... and Mr. Scott have over 40 years of ... joins the company with over 22 years of ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical company, ... investigational fixed-dose combination of mometasone furoate (25 mcg) ... a nasal spray being studied for the treatment ... a recently completed Phase 3 trial assessing the ... versus mometasone, olopatadine or placebo. "We ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: