Rare Lymphoma Developing in Young Patients Who Use Particular Drugs


According to a new report, health regulators have received notice of a rare form of blood cancer developing in the young patients who have been taking anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat digestive disorders. These drugs, known as necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, are utilized in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis that cause inflammation of the digestive system.

Prior to this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people of an increased risk in developing lymphomas and other types of cancers associated with the use of TNF blockers by kids and adolescents. Products included amongst the ones that can cause these problems are: Merck & Co Inc's (MRK.N) and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) Remicade and Simponi, Amgen Inc's (AMGN.O) Enbrel, Abbott Laboratories Inc's (ABT.N) Humira and UCB SA's (UCB.BR) Cimzia.

On Thursday, the FDA announced that the blood cancer Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma (HSTCL) was reportedly mainly found in young adults and adolescents who were taking TNF blockers. Further, similar problems arose in young adults and adolescents who were taking drugs like azatthioprine and mercaptopurine.

As a result of these recent events, the product labels for Remicade and Humira have been updated accordingly to feature warnings about HSTCL.

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