Copaxone and Cancer?

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Copaxone

Copaxone and Cancer?

Postby Tom15 » Fri May 22, 2009 10:05 am

Someone very close to me was diagnosed with cancer and had previously been taking copaxone for two years. Nobody thought there was any connection. However, Teva seems very interested. Which is provoking this question. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?
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Re: Copaxone and Cancer?

Postby NHE » Fri May 22, 2009 1:37 pm

Tom15 wrote:Someone very close to me was diagnosed with cancer and had previously been taking copaxone for two years. Nobody thought there was any connection. However, Teva seems very interested. Which is provoking this question. Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?


I'm not saying that there is any known link between cancer and copaxone. However, page 4 of the prescribing information for copaxone states...
Glatiramer acetate was clastogenic in two separate in vitro chromosomal aberration assays in cultured human lymphocytes but not clastogenic in an in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Clastogenic means that it was found to cause breaks in DNA. This occurred when it was given to cells in tissue culture. However, this clastogenic activity was not found when it was given to a mouse in the in vivo assay.

You may find a medical dictionary helpful when going through this document. I certainly did when I was in the process of choosing a medication after I was initially diagnosed 9 years ago. I happen to like Stedmans' medical dictionary but there are others available. Note that Stedmans offers an online version for looking up single words. This might be helpful for you. Another option is to pick one up at a used book store or find one in your local library.

I wish your friend the best in their treatment for cancer.

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Copaxone and Breast Cancer

Postby Shayk » Sat May 23, 2009 6:30 pm

Tom15

I'm on Copaxone (about 2 1/2 years) and so far have not been diagnosed with cancer. However, there may be an association which is probably why Teva is so interested.

Cancer incidence in multiple sclerosis and effects of immunomodulatory treatments.
Female MS patients treated with glatiramer acetate showed an elevated rate of breast cancer and all MS patients treated with beta-interferons showed an elevated risk of non-breast cancers though not statistically significant (p = 0.122 and 0.072, respectively).

Further study is needed to assess possible associations between long-term exposure to the novel immunomodulatory treatments in MS and rate of cancer.

This is a later study from 2008. In their lingo IS=immunosuppressive rather than immunomodulating. Not exactly sure what drugs they're referencing here.

Cancer risk and impact of disease-modifying treatments in patients with multiple sclerosis
When considering all patients, treated patients had a 3-fold higher risk of developing cancer, if they had a history of IS (P = 0.0035).

For treated patients, the cancer sites were more likely the breast, the urinary tract, the digestive system and the skin.

CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that MS patients do not have an increased risk of cancer. Rather for several types of cancer a significantly reduced risk was observed, except for breast cancer in women treated with IS. The relative increased risk of breast cancer in MS women under IS treatment warrants further attention.

So, the jury is still out but not surprising that Teva is interested. Do you know if it's been reported to the FDA?

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Postby LR1234 » Wed May 27, 2009 5:15 am

Hi Tom,
1 in 3 people apparantly get cancer (according to the statistics) so I think the connection with copaxone is probably not a strong one If it was it would have become apparant in the trials.
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Postby paulmath » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:39 am

LR1234 wrote:Hi Tom,
1 in 3 people apparantly get cancer (according to the statistics) so I think the connection with copaxone is probably not a strong one If it was it would have become apparant in the trials.


I have a hard time thinking this is remotely valid. If 1 on 3 people get cancer doing anything....it would be front page news. 8O
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Re: Copaxone and Cancer?

Postby sudsybubble » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:24 am

I have secondary progressive MS (diagnosed in 1996) and was just recently diagnosed (April 2012) with breast cancer (HER2 positive). I took Copaxone from 2000 until 2006 and wondered too about any connection between this drug and cancer.

Anyone else?

Thanks,
Susan
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Re: Copaxone and Cancer?

Postby LR1234 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:28 am

Hi Susan
I am so sorry to hear you have cancer.
I still think that people in general are at a high risk of cancer it seems whatever they do.
I hope you are in remission and over come it.

Found this http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerBasi ... rom-cancer (in answer to Tom)

Looks like 1 in 2 for males and 1 in 3 for females have a risk of cancer, not sure how this differs from gets cancer
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Re: Copaxone and Cancer?

Postby shaight » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:09 am

I just discovered that I have Lymphadenopathy now that I've been taking Copaxone since June. I trying to make sense of exactly what is going on, but I'm still quite lost reading the studies. I cannot imagine it is a good thing.

http://www.jimmunol.org/content/170/9/4483.long
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