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Crohn's Disease- Pathophysiology and Conventional and Alternative Treatment Options
Remicade Increasing Risk of Cancer
Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2006, cite an increased rate of several types of cancer and of serious infection with the use of Remicade and Humira. It has been known for a long time that these treatments increase the risk of certain types of cancer or infection like lymphoma and tuberculosis. However, there now appears to be an increased risk for a broader set of cancers and infections in patients undergoing medical treatment for Inflammaotry Bowel Disease.
The study examined Remicade® (infliximab), which to date is the only anti-TNF therapy that the FDA has approved for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Diseasae as well as Humira® (adalimumab), a treatment that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of Crohn's disease. The study, led by investigators at Mayo Clinic, used "meta-analysis" to combine and assess the results from a large set of clinical studies already in the literature. Less common events associated with treatment can be detected with the large number of patients and years of treatment represented by these combined studies.
Overall, the study suggests that the increased risk of cancer like lymphoma, skin, gastrointestinal, breast and lung or serious infection may be three-fold and two-fold, respectively. The risk appears to be mainly in patients receiving high dose treatment which is more than 6 mg/kg every 8 weeks; or use of Humra (adalimumab, 40 mg every other week). The increased risk of cancer occurred early, and there was not a further increase of cancer with longer times.
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