Did you or someone you love develop leukemia while being treated with Enbrel? Enbrel and similar drugs known as TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) blockers have been tied to an increased risks of cancer, including leukemia, in children, adolescents, and adults. In 2009, a Boxed Warning was added to the labels of all TNF blockers, including Enbrel, regarding an association with cancers in children and adolescents. At the same time, the “Warning” sections of the labels for Enbrel and other TNF blockers were updated to include new information regarding leukemia and other malignancies in adults, adolescents, and children who were using the drugs.
The Enbrel leukemia lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are offering free legal evaluations to victims of Enbrel side effects. If you suffered leukemia while being treated with Enbrel, you may be eligible to file an Enbrel leukemia lawsuit against the maker of this drug to obtain damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. To learn more about the legal options available to you, please contact our Enbrel leukemia lawyers today.
Enbrel and TNF Blockers
Enbrel is an injectable medication used to treat autoimmune disorders that is manufactured by Immunex Corporation and marketed in the U.S. by Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Enbrel is used to treat Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in children. However, the drug is also approved to treat several disorders in adults, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Plaque psoriasis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
TNF is a protein created by the body during an auto-immune response. However, some people create too much TNF, which can lead to autoimmune disorders. Enbrel binds to TNF, and forces the body to metabolize the TNF and eliminate excess levels from a patient’s system. TNF, however, also helps the body fight cancer, so reducing levels of the protein in the body could increase cancer risks, including leukemia.
FDA Enbrel Cancer and Leukemia Warnings
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating a possible link between leukemia and other cancers and TNF blockers in June 2008. At the time, the agency said it had received approximately 30 reports of cancer in children and young adults who were treated with a TNF blocker. While about half the cancers reported where lymphomas, other malignancies, including leukemia, melanoma, and solid organ cancers, had also occurred.
In August 2009, the FDA announced that it was ordering the makers of TNF blockers, including Enbrel, to add new warnings to their labels regarding an increased risk of cancer, including leukemia, associated with the drugs. The modified label would include updates to the Boxed Warning to alert healthcare professionals of an increased risk of lymphoma and other malignancies in children and adolescents treated with TNF blockers. An update to the Warnings section of the drugs’ labels described reported cases of leukemia in adults, adolescents, and children. Changes to the Warnings section of the labeling also included additional information on malignancies in children and adolescents. When the FDA announced the label changes, the agency said it had identified 48 cases of malignancies in children and adolescents. Of the 48 cases reviewed by FDA, approximately half were lymphomas, including Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other malignancies reported include leukemia, melanoma, and solid organ cancers. Malignancies such as leiomyosarcoma, hepatic malignancies, and renal cell carcinoma, which are rare in children, were also reported. Of the 48 cases of malignancy, there were 11 deaths.
The FDA also reviewed 147 post-marketing reports of leukemia in all patients, including adults, using TNF blockers. Of the 147 cases, acute myeloid leukemia (44 cases), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (31 cases), and chronic myeloid leukemia (23 cases) were the most frequently classified types of leukemia reported. Four pediatric cases of leukemia were reported in the review. A total of 30 deaths were reported.
Legal Help for Victims of Enbrel Leukemia
If you or someone you love developed leukemia while taking Enbrel, you may have valuable legal rights. To discuss your case with one of our Enbrel leukemia lawyers, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.