Major article-Medication and Cancer

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not sure if this was already posted, but here is a link to an article on Foxnews today.  It discusses the FDA and cancer concerns with some of the Crohn's drugs. 
Definitely scary for many of us.


Jason D in MN
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
If I find the link again I'll post it. TNF-alpa suppression (Remicade and Humira) and associated cancer risks have been debated within the NIH. I read an article on this a couple years back and from what I gathered is:
1) the risk in adults is similar to the risk of taking 6MP alone.
2) The risk wasn't studied in children at that time. All doctors present advised using extreme caution before prescribing to children.

Since most on TNF-alpha suppression (Humira, and Remicade) are also on 6MP or Imuran, I've always wondered about long term cancer risks. As a result I've been very reluctant to try Remicade again after my one experience with it. (Not to mention my family members tend get cancers... most are survivors, like my Dad... although not all can claim that...)

FYI for those not familiar TNF stands for Tumor (aka cancer) Necrosis Factor. Basically it's one of several immune system defenses our body has against cancer cells, as well as provoking inflammation. So suppression of this has always concerned me as currently it's a systemic suppression (i.e. whole body). Also as of yet I've not seen any articles that discuss if TNF-alpha is elevated in the whole body or just the gut in Crohn's patients. If anyone knows of such an article please let me know!

With that said. For adults, the cancer risk appears to be no worse than 6MP or Imuran so don't panic and go off any treatments that you're currently on! That would be foolish!

However, if you are concerned, talk your concerns over with your doctor, including what you know about your families cancer history.

Mine understands my concern, and is willing to work within my limits.
-- Jason
Diagnoses? Crohn's in 1983; Kidney Stones in 1997; Reactive Airway Syndrome in 2002; Major Depression and GAD in 2003; Migraines in 2006; ADHD and IBS in 2007.

Current Meds? 6MP; Adderall; Wellbutrin; Zoloft; Albuterol (emergencies only); Fexofenadine; and Epidrin or Imitrex (depends on migraine severity...etc)

Overall: Things are So-So. In other words "It could be worse. It could be raining."

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/5/2008 5:45 PM (GMT -6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 6/5/2008 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I would think this class of drugs and the sensitivity levels & cancer risks would be more pronounced in children and the elderly anyway.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium, Lexapro, Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Ultracet Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, peri-menopausal.

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