Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

FDA Probes Arthritis Drug and Cancer Reports in Kids

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 1:34 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Cancer, Arthritis, Chrohn's Disease, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Toxic Substances

The FDA will investigate whether cancers in kids are linked to taking arthritis drugs.



IMAGE SOURCE :  Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade Web site


The FDA will investigate the link between drugs, given to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Chrohn’s disease over a decade, and the development of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults.

The medications, called TNF blockers include, Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, Abbott Laboratories Humira, and Amgen and Wyeth’s Enbrel.

Children and young adults under the age of 18, were treated with the drugs between 1998 and 2008.  About 30 have developed cancer.

Half of the cancers reported were lymphomas, including both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other cancers include leukemia, melanoma and solid organ cancers.

Another drug in the same class, Cimzia, was approved in April of this year. It will be required to conduct a study on long-term risks, including cancer.

The FDA says long-term studies are needed to answer the questions. The agency is asking manufacturers of the TNF blockers to provide information about cases of cancers among children treated.  Studies will begin next year and will take 10 years to complete.

TNF blockers suppress the immune system by blocking the activity of TNF, a substance that causes inflammation and can lead to immune system-related diseases such as JIA, and Crohn’s disease, according to the FDA.

Amgen and Wyeth tell Reuters they support the FDA review and will provide requested information. The other manufacturers could not be reached.

"At the current time, the FDA believes that the potential benefits of the use of TNF blockers outweigh the potential risks in certain children and young adults," the FDA said in a document on its Web site.

Consumers are being asked to report adverse events related to the drugs by calling 1-800-332-1088 or go to the FDA’s Medwatch Web site to make a report.

Patients discuss the pros and cons of TNF blockers online on the Daily Strength web site. 

The Daily Mail newspaper in Britain, carried a story last April of a teenager who beat rheumatoid arthritis with that class of drugs.  # 

No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes