Drug trial victims face 'cancer for life'

06-08-2006

The six men who were hospitalised after participating in a disastrous drug trial in March are likely to die of cancer, an independent study of their conditions has revealed.

A report obtained by the Sunday Times analysing the likely health implications for each of the six victims predicts that they will develop cancers throughout the rest of their lives, reflected by the fact that one of the six is already displaying early signs of lymphoma.

The assessment of Professor Richard Powell of Nottingham University shows that the drug, known as TGN1412, which hoped to eradicate auto-immune diseases in which the body attacks itself are likely to face a lifetime of such diseases themselves, will actually encourage such diseases in their bodies in the future.

"They face a lifetime of contracting cancers and all the various auto-immune diseases from lupus to MS, from rheumatoid arthritis to ME," Professor Powell's report, published in the Sunday Times, claims.

Professor Powell added that one of the six patients "has definite early signs that a lymphoid malignancy is developing".

"It's a really bizarre feeling when you discover that you might be dead in a couple of years or even in a couple of months," one of the victims, Nav Modi, told the Scotsman.

"I feel like I've given my life away for £2,000," he added, referring to the original amount offered to the six men in return for their participation in the trial.

The German pharmaceutical company which ran the trials, TeGenero, filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of this month, citing the negative publicity from the TGN1412 case as the single reason for their sudden insolvency.

Although cleared of accusations that they had failed to adequately provide for the safety of the six participants the incident has prompted a series of attacks on the pharmaceutical industry, leading to calls for the introduction of regulation by the government into future clinical drug testing.


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