Amgen-Sponsored Study Was Testing Aranesp In Cancer Patients Who Developed Anemia
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
An April 17, 2007 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article about the results of a new study concerning Aranesp revealed more bad news for Amgen Inc., the maker of this anemia drug:
Amgen's drug Aranesp didn't reduce the need for blood transfusions in anemic cancer patients and was linked to a nearly 45% increase in deaths compared with patients taking a placebo.
These latest safety findings, first presented on April 16, 2007 at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Los Angeles, came out of an Amgen-sponsored study which was examining the use of Aranesp in patients who had become anemic because of their cancer -- as opposed to developing anemia as a side effect of the chemotherapy treatments for their cancer.
More details about this Aranesp study was provided by the April 18 WSJ article:
Nearly 1,000 patients were enrolled in the study with many kinds of cancer, including breast, prostate and non-small-cell lung cancers. The patients weren't receiving chemotherapy, and most had very advanced cancer classed as stage III or IV disease. Patients were treated with Aranesp.... Treatment continued for 16 weeks or until the patient required a transfusion. People in the control group received a placebo, or inactive substance.
Earlier reports of potential risks associated with the use of Aranesp as well as Epogen and Procrit had already prompted the FDA to schedule a May 10, 2007 meeting of its Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee in order to consider the safety of these increasingly controversial erythropoiesis-stimulating agents.