Anemia drugs may be safer for cancer patients to take than recenty thought. This week Amgen released data showing that its anemia dug Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) did not increase risk of death when used with platinum chemotherapy by patients with extensive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), but nor did the anti-anemia drug improve patients' survival.

This news may allay some fears arising from a Phase III study that found that in a group patients with active cancer who were not receiving chemotherapnemia or radiotherapy, the overall number of deaths was greater in those who received Aranesp than in those who did not.

An FDA panel is scheduled to review the safety of anemia drugs on May 10.
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