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Published on 5 June 2008

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Review over drugs’ link to cancer


A safety review is being carried out on a number of drugs after they were linked with the development of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults.

The review of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers – specifically Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade – is being conducted by America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The drugs suppress the immune system by blocking the activity of TNF, a substance in the body that can cause inflammation and lead to immune system-related diseases such as JIA and Crohn’s disease. The FDA is now following up a possible association between their use and the development of these diseases.

The makers of the TDF blockers have been asked for information about all cases of cancer reported in children and young adults taking TNF blockers.

While the review is ongoing, the FDA is advising prescribers to weigh the possible association with lymphoma and other cancers against the benefits of treatment when prescribing the drugs to children and young adults.

Once the review is complete, the FDA will communicate its findings and any resulting recommendations to the public.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Food and Drug Administration

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