Published on 20/07/2012
Cancer drugs approved in the last 12 years are more likely to have serious side effects than older medication, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
New cancer drugs are more likely to have serious side effects
Canadian researchers looked at reports on 38 cancer drugs reviewed and approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 2000 and 2010.
The reports- used to get each drug approved- had between 266 and 1,725 cancer patients each. Participants were randomly assigned the newer drugs and compared to those taking the current standard of treatment or a drug-free placebo.
Researchers found that cancer patients who were randomly assigned the newer drugs were 40 per cent more likely to die from a side effect than those in comparison groups.
In addition, patients in the newer treatment groups were 52 per cent more likely to have a range of severe to possible life-threatening effects, ranging from nerve damage to heart problems. However, less than one per cent of participants died from a treatment related side-effect.
Researchers said that because the FDA approved all the new drugs, the agency found that medications helped cancer patients more than they potentially hurt them. Dr. Shenhong Wu, a cancer doctor from Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, who wasn't involved in the new study, said:
"Overall, at least we can say from clinical trial patients that the benefit (of these drugs) is more than the risks.”
Experts say that serious side effects with new cancer treatments are generally unusual, and patients should discuss anything that doesn’t seem right with their doctor. The balance of drug benefits and side effects may be different for each patient.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical