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Lymphoma and Pets
FDA updates safety information on side effects of TNF blockers
It was recently reported at the American College of Rheumatology annual scientific meeting in Chicago that anti-TNF blockers such as Enbrel and Humira do not raise the risk among patients taking them of developing solid tumors cancers.
That paper did not address the ongoing perceived risk of predisposing patients of these anti-inflammatory medications of blood cancers, however.
The FDA saw reason to respond, by updating the side effect information provided with anti-TNF blockers, urging manufacturers to do the same, and noting that they continue to receive incidence of an extremely rare t-cell lymphoma, Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma, among patients taking these medications.
While no concrete link has been identified, the association is very strong, in large part because of the extreme rarity of the lymphoma subtype. Scientists can't yet explain why the drugs are leading to the lymphoma, although they speculate that it has much to do with how the drugs suppress the patient's immune systems.