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IBD drugs increase leukemia risk seven-fold
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Drugs for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increase the risk of leukemia seven-fold

Drugs for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increase the risk of leukemia seven-fold. Thiopurines, immune-suppressant drugs, are a standard treatment for the disease, but the cancer risk is so high that doctors should start discussing other approaches, say researchers.
The drugs trigger a range of myeloid disorders-which affect blood cells in the bone marrow-such as acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow disorder-and increase the risk seven times, say researchers from the University Hospital of Nancy-Brabois in France.
In a study involving 19,486 patients with IBD, five developed a myeloid disorder, and four of these had been taking a thiopurine drug.
The drugs reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of IBD, but doctors should explore other treatments with the IBD patient, such as nutrition, emotional support or surgery.
(Source: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2014; 12 (8): 1324)

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