Update: LEADER Trial Finds Increased Pancreatic Cancer Risk with Victoza
June 17, 2016 – A study published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) identified a potential increased risk of pancreatic cancer in type 2 diabetes patients treated with Victoza. Specifically, the disease occurred in 13 patients treated with the medication compared to 5 patients who took a placebo (13 vs 5, HR 2.60, 95% CI 0.93, 7.28 p = 0.06). Given that Victoza has been previously associated with pancreatitis, the new findings seem to reinforce the link between the drug and pancreatic cancer, according to the researchers.
Victoza Class Action Lawsuit
Victoza lawsuits involving pancreatic cancer were recently consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in California, which is similar to a class action lawsuit. The MDL also includes lawsuits filed on behalf of individual who were injured by similar diabetes drugs — Januvia, Byetta, and Janumet. Over 350 cases have been transferred here:
- In re: Incretin Mimetic Product Liability Litigation
Victoza and Diabetes
Victoza is a type-2 diabetes drug that contains liraglutide [rDNA origin], a once-daily injection drug that improves blood-sugar control. It works by mimicking the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which normally causes the pancreas to secrete insulin. More insulin in the bloodstream causes cells to absorb more blood-sugar, which helps prevent hyperglycemia.
Victoza and Pancreatitis
Novo Nordisk received approval for Victoza in 2010. In 2011, clinical trials linked Victoza to a higher incidence of pancreatitis compared to other diabetes drugs. The FDA recommended careful monitoring of patients for symptoms of pancreatitis, including persistent and severe abdominal pain that sometimes radiates to the back, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting.
FDA Warning for Victoza and Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatitis, a side effect of Victoza, is also a risk-factor for pancreatic cancer. In March 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Safety Communication, alerting the public about the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer from Victoza and other type-2 diabetes drugs.
The FDA said it was reviewing data from a study published in Diabetes in which researchers autopsied pancreases and found that they were 40% larger than normal due to a 6-fold increase in beta-cells. Unfortunately, many of the cells were abnormal — out of eight pancreases, half of them had pre-cancerous growths that could become malignant and cause pancreatic cancer.
FDA Warning for Victoza and Thyroid Cancer
The label on Victoza carries a Black Box warning about the risk of thyroid cancer because studies in rodents have shown that normal doses of Victoza cause thyroid C-cell tumors in both genders of rats and mice, with a higher risk associated with longer treatment and higher doses.
Victoza Side Effects
- Pancreatic inflammation (acute pancreatitis)
- Hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis
- Pancreatic cancer
- Adenomas and neuroendocrine tumors
- Kidney failure
- Papillary thyroid cancer
- Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
- Hypersensitivity reactions
Do I have a Victoza Class Action Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Victoza lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Victoza Class Action Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by Victoza, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Victoza lawsuit, and we can help.