Navigation Links
Anemia Drugs for Cancer Patients Increase Death Risk
Date:2/26/2008

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents also boost risk of blood clots, study says,,,,

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Drugs designed to fight fatigue and other symptoms associated with cancer treatment-related anemia may do more harm than good, especially if given in the wrong doses.

The drugs -- erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) -- increase the risk of death by 10 percent and the risk of blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms (VTE) by 57 percent, according to a review published in the Feb. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"What we've done here is put together the totality of the evidence and found two things that are concerning: The increased risk of VTE and the increased risk of mortality," said the review's lead author, Dr. Charles Bennett, the A.C. Beuhler professor of geriatric medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

ESAs -- erythropoietin (Epogen, Procrit) and darbepoetin (Aranesp) -- work by stimulating the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. They are used to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy and to treat anemia in people with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.

This isn't the first time health experts have raised concerns about these medications. In kidney patients, past research has found that if these drugs are used to raise hemoglobin levels above 12 grams per deciliter of blood, the risk of death increases. And past cancer research has suggested that the drugs may be associated with more rapid tumor growth and an increased risk of death.

Due to these concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year had the drugs' manufacturers add a "black box" warning to the medications. The warning indicates that the medications should be used at the lowest possible doses to avoid risks such as blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, congestive heart failure, increased tumor growth and an increased risk of death. The FDA also recommended that the medications be prescribed at the lowest doses possible because trials generally indicated an increased risk when blood levels were raised above 12 grams per deciliter.

However, not everyone is convinced that these drugs do more harm than good.

"If you use ESAs the way they're supposed to be used, I really don't see clinically what they're talking about in the trials," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La. "Many of the trials that changed the FDA prescribing guidelines were done in Europe and outside the guidelines of the U.S."

"I still think ESAs are extraordinarily useful and safe medications when used in an efficacious manner. I would be treated with these agents if I had cancer," Brooks said.

The new study included 51 phase 3 clinical trials completed between 1985 and 2005. Survival was evaluated in 13,613 people with cancer, and the risk of VTE was evaluated in 8,172 people with cancer. The type of cancer varied widely from study to study.

Overall, Bennett and his colleagues found the risk of VTE increased 57 percent in people taking ESAs, and the risk of mortality increased 10 percent in people on these medications.

"At the end of the day, these data are very provocative and it's important for people that make clinical guidelines to review the data," said Bennett, who's also a hematologist/oncologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.

"Patients should be informed of the risks and benefits of these drugs," he added.

More information

Here's what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has to say about ESAs.



SOURCES: Charles Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., A.C. Beuhler professor of geriatric medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and hematologist/oncologist, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago; Jay Brooks, M.D., chair, hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; Feb. 27, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


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

Related medicine news :

1. Anemia treatment may be a double-edged sword
2. FDA Reports New Risks Posed by Anemia Drugs
3. Modeling Simulation Predicts Potential Negative Impact on U.S. Blood Supply if ESA Use Limited for Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia
4. Evidence links anemia drugs with leukemic transformation in patients with primary myelofibrosis
5. New Kind of Stem Cells Reverse Sickle Cell Anemia
6. FDA Approves MIRCERA(R): First Renal Anemia Treatment with Monthly Maintenance Dosing
7. New anemia measure predicts risk of death in dialysis patients
8. FDA Issues New Warnings for Anemia Drugs
9. Simpler Anemia Treatment May Help Kidney Patients
10. Cancer Doctors Across America Stunned at Governments Ruling Restricting Anemia Management Protocols for Cancer Patients, Call Ruling Interference in Practice of Medicine
11. Controversial Anemia Drug Doesnt Cut Need for Transfusions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Anemia Drugs for Cancer Patients Increase Death Risk
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... In response to meager public ... unaware of the plight of aphasia. In collaboration with the American Aphasia Association, ... , The link between stroke and aphasia is relatively unknown, but through collaboration ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... With a team of certified experts, Validation ... from its GMP accreditation, Validation Center is also a registered authority of the ... staff. , Validation Center is ISO17025 accredited and only offers its clients the ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Intalere, the healthcare ... suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, ... operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The conference was highlighted by the ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cardiac arrhythmia is a common complication following ... survival, reports a team of UPMC researchers in the largest study of its ... Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, provide critical information that will hopefully lead to better ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... An April Gallup survey found rising health care costs to ... Sun Health Senior Living (SHSL) may not share those same worries thanks to ... for the year, while holding the line on increasing their contributions, including premiums, deductibles ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... NEW YORK , May 27, 2016 ... with biotechs, drug manufacturers, health insurance companies all falling ... very small healthcare companies. While not often talked about, ... The United States is by ... the world. Advanced Medical Isotope Corp. (OTC: ADMD), Nutranomics ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016 Since its commercial introduction ... essential life science tool for conducting genetic studies in ... reveals in its new report that the industry sits ... powered by a range of new applications in the ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , Since the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... May 25, 2016  Zymo Research Corp. announced ... new reference materials that help researchers obtain the ... to analyses. The rapid growth of the study ... to have standard methods to improve the reproducibility ... inherently exist at every step of the measurement ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: