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Thursday, March 6, 2008--Lung Cancer Alliance attended the Food and Drug Administration's Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC) meeting on risks posed by erythopoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs)--Procrit, Aranesp, and Epogen--to cancer patients.
The safety of ESA’s, which were approved for use in chemotherapy-induced anemia in 1993, are under scrutiny after studies released in 2007 and 2008 indicated cancer patients faced an increased risk of thrombovascular events (blood clots and potential tumor promotion) and decreased survival when taking the drugs.
Beginning in November of 2007, Lung Cancer Alliance joined other cancer advocacy groups, including the Colorectal Cancer Coalition (C3) and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, in meetings with manufacturers and FDA representatives to understand and communicate the impact these findings have to our constituents.
LCA co-signed letters to both the FDA and the manufacturers of ESAs to voice our concerns.