Mercaptopurin May Cause Blood Cancer. Was someone you love diagnosed with a rare blood cancer called Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma (HSTCL) while being treated with mercaptopurin? This aggressive, and often fatal cancer has been reported in teenagers and young adults who were undergoing treatment with mercaptopurin alone, or in combination with tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers like Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etancercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Simponi (golimumab).
Lawyers at our firm who specialize in defective drug litigation are offering victims of HSTCL that could be associated with mecatopurin therapy, either alone or with a TNF blocker, free lawsuit evaluations. To find out how we can help you obtain compensation for your suffering, please contact our office today.
FDA HSCTL Warning
Mercaptopurin is a drug that suppresses the immune system. It is commonly used with TNF blockers or alone to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, although they are not approved for those uses. TNF blockers also suppress the immune system, and are used to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis.
In April 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Safety Communication to inform the public that it was continuing to receive reports of HSTCL in teenagers and young people treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with Mercaptopurin, either along or with TNF blockers. While most of the reported cases occurred in patients being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, they also included a patient being treated for psoriasis and two patients being treated for rheumatoid arthritis, the FDA said.
According to the FDA’s Data Summary, there were a total of three HSTCL cases involving the use of mercaptopurine. Of 20 cases identified with Remicade, 18 of the patients also were known to be using either concomitant mercaptopurine, or another drug called azathioprine. Of five cases identified with Remicade / Humira use, 4 patients were known to be using concomitant mercaptopurine or azathioprine.
In its April 2011 Drug Safety Communication, the FDA said the product label mercaptopurine and azathioprine would be been updated to include warnings about HSTCL. The product labels Remicade and Humira also been updated to include HSTCL warnings, the FDA said.