Study finds link from ESAs to leukemia

In another blow to anemia drugs, Mayo Clinic researchers announced today that erythropoiesis-stimulating agents--like Amgen's Aranesp and Epogen, and Johnson & Johnson's Procrit--may cause patients with a bone-marrow disorder to develop leukemia.

The researchers had been studying the risk factors for progression from primary myelofibrosis to leukemia, and in the process uncovered this link to ESAs. Though the lead investigator said the study results need to be validated in other trials, he also said that the findings should be taken into account when doctors and patients are deciding whether to use the drugs.

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