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News number: 8808220641

14:52 | 2009-11-13

Science

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Anemia Drug Ups Blood Clot Risk in Cancer Patients

TEHRAN (FNA)- Cancer sufferers on certain drugs, commonly used to cut the risk of anemia, are more vulnerable to developing blood clots in the lungs or legs, a new study finds.



Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) stimulate bone marrow to increase the production of red blood cells, lowering the need for blood transfusions during chemotherapy in cancer patients.

"We dramatically increased the number of patients that received these agents," said lead researcher Dawn Hershman, stressing that the transfusion rate had not changed over time.

According to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, taking ESAs also doubles the risk of thromboembolic events such as deep venous thromboembolism in these patients, press tv reported.

Given the increased risk of blood clots and the steady need for blood transfusions in cancer patients, scientists concluded that the risks of these drugs may outweigh its benefits.