Toxic Side Effects of Onyx Drug Pose FDA Concerns
  • Fri, 06/22/2012 - 3:18pm

An experimental cancer drug from Onyx Pharmaceuticals arguably has more dangerous side effects than benefits for patients with a certain type of blood cancer, called multiple myeloma.
According to Mayo Clinic’s website, “Multiple myeloma is a cancer of your plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow. Plasma cells normally make proteins called antibodies to help you fight infections.”
Through a company study, it was discovered that this Onyx Pharmaceuticals’ drug, carfilzomib, had a dangerous rate of heart and lung side effects. Considering some of these side effects caused fatalities, the Food and Drug Administration will host a panel of cancer specialists who will decide whether or not the drug ought to be approved.
Onyx wants the FDA to approve carfilzomib for the treatment of multiple myeloma in patients who have not had success with other medications. The company studied the drug in over 250 patients who had previously been treated with other cancer medications. According to WTOP, “About 22 percent of patients studied responded to the drug, with the typical patient surviving slightly less than eight months after beginning treatment.”
There are seven other FDA-approved therapy treatments for multiple myeloma. Each depend on a patient’s age, health, and stage of cancer.
The FDA panel’s verdict on the Onyx drug is expected by July 27.


About the Contributor

Kaitlin Gill
I report on news regarding product safety concerns for individuals and families.

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