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Thread: Supply of a Cancer Drug May Run Out Within Weeks

  1. #1
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    Supply of a Cancer Drug May Run Out Within Weeks

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/he...soon.html?_r=1

    The drug is methotrexate, and the cancer it treats is known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or A.L.L., which most often strikes children ages 2 to 5. It is an unusually virulent cancer of white blood cells that are overproduced in bone marrow and invade other parts of the body.
    The cancer commonly spreads to the lining of the spine and brain, and oncologists prevent this by injecting large quantities of preservative-free methotrexate directly into the spinal fluid. The preservative can cause paralysis when injected into the spinal column, so cannot be used for this disease. Methotrexate is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
    Ben Venue Laboratories was one of the nation’s largest suppliers of injectable preservative-free methotrexate, but the company voluntarily suspended operations at its plant in Bedford, Ohio, in November because of “significant manufacturing and quality concerns,” the company announced.
    Since then, supplies of methotrexate have gradually dwindled to the point where oncologists now say they are fearful that shortfalls may occur at many hospitals within two weeks.
    “This is a crisis that I hope the F.D.A.’s hard work can help to avert,” said Dr. Michael P. Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “We have worked very hard to take what was an incurable disease and make it curable for 90 percent of the cases. But if we can’t get this drug anymore, that sets us back decades.”
    Aussie, age 61
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma.

    Relapse Apr 2016. AITL. Some chemos then on to allo transplant. Onc says long remission was good. Still very fixable.

    SCT Aug 2016

  2. #2
    Let's hope this is not the case. It is also used to treat PCNS lymphoma and mine is scheduled to get some on the 24th! The antidote or rescue drug leucavorin is also on the shortage list. I don't think this is one of the really pricey chemo's so the cost should not be holding it up. That is unless you are kind of cynical like me and wonder if since it isn't a big money maker, a shortage could make it that Who knows, just hope it's there when he needs it! Thanks Didee
    Spouse/Caregiver of 56 yr old male
    Diagnosed Primary CNS Lymphoma 2/2011
    HDMTX Chemo- 8 cycles
    HDMTX Maintenance Chemo- 11 cycles
    Complications: clots, kidney issues, slow clearance of
    chemo, dermatitis
    11/2013 Recurring clots in lungs/legs
    Scan 12-27-13 all clear
    Scan 3-13 all clear
    Next scan in October, done and all clear!
    Went early for scanxiety in Aug 2014, all clear!
    Scan Feb 2015, all clear!

  3. #3
    The FDA now says they've found a way to keep supplies of methotrexate coming:

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/464045.../#.T0GKkHmspo8
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  4. #4
    Thanks for passing this on. Our local news station had a report about it but only got the University hospital to say that yep there was a shortage but not how badly it was affecting them or if it had. Supposed to go in Thursday, may hear more then. This is absolute BS that these companies are being allowed to limit drugs the way they are.
    Spouse/Caregiver of 56 yr old male
    Diagnosed Primary CNS Lymphoma 2/2011
    HDMTX Chemo- 8 cycles
    HDMTX Maintenance Chemo- 11 cycles
    Complications: clots, kidney issues, slow clearance of
    chemo, dermatitis
    11/2013 Recurring clots in lungs/legs
    Scan 12-27-13 all clear
    Scan 3-13 all clear
    Next scan in October, done and all clear!
    Went early for scanxiety in Aug 2014, all clear!
    Scan Feb 2015, all clear!

 

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