If you took Victoza (liraglutide) to treat Type-2 diabetes and you developed pancreatic cancer, you may have a Victoza pancreatic cancer lawsuit. There is research to suggest that drugs like Victoza may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer in some people, but you may have been unaware of this before you took Victoza. Pancreatic cancer is a rare type of cancer, but it is extremely dangerous. It is usually symptomless in its early stages, which delays diagnosis until it is too late. By the time pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, 95% of people with this disease survive less than five years.
What You Can Do & How a Victoza Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Victoza pancreatic cancer injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Victoza, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Victoza Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Victoza (liraglutide) is a new type of Type-2 diabetes medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. It belongs to a class of diabetes drugs that mimics the activity of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which stimulates the pancreas to secrete more insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin triggers cells to absorb glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream, which lowers blood-sugar levels.
Recently, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. called Public Citizen sent a petition to the FDA calling for an immediate ban of Victoza in the United States. In a press announcement, the group cited several major safety concerns, including the fact that Victoza has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer, acute pancreatitis, kidney failure, and allergic reactions.
Victoza and Pancreatic Cancer
Researchers have already discovered that in some people, drugs that mimic GLP-1 (Victoza, Byetta, and Bydureon) may cause a sudden inflammation of the pancreas in some patients, causing acute pancreatitis. The drug labels already carry warning information about this risk. There is some evidence that the risk of acute pancreatitis is higher for Victoza patients than people taking other diabetes drugs. Acute pancreatitis is also a risk factor for a far more serious disease — pancreatic cancer.
In research published in May 2012 in the journal Diabetes, researchers discovered that drugs like Victoza may stimulate the proliferation of precancerous cells. The researchers hypothesize that people who have pancreatic abnormalities may be predisposed to develop pancreatic cancer.
Indeed, between February 2010 and September 2011, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found 28 reports of pancreatic cancer among Victoza patients, compared with just 1 case of pancreatic cancer among people who were taking diabetes drugs that did not mimic GLP-1. The reports were submitted to the FDA’s adverse-event database. These reports indicate that there is a possibility that Victoza could increase the rate of pancreatic cancer, but without an adequately-controlled study, there is no way to know for sure.
Unfortunately, conducting a well-controlled study of pancreatic cancer would be very difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Pancreatic cancer only occurs in approximately 1 per 10,000 people. Although the manufacturer of Victoza is currently conducting a 9,000-patient safety study required by the FDA, this study may be too small to adequately estimate the risk of pancreatic cancer.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
- 95% of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer do not survive more than five years. Once pancreatic cancer spreads, a patients has only a 1.8% chance or surviving more than five years.
Pancreatic cancer is a disease that affects the pancreas, a digestive organ that secretes digestive enzymes, insulin, and other hormones. Cancer occurs when certain cells inside the pancreas begin dividing out of control. Long-term prognosis for people with pancreatic cancer is not good.
Pancreatic cancer is often very advanced when it is first discovered, because it does not show symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Once the cancer has grown, it is very unlikely that a surgeon will be able to remove cancerous pancreatic tissue (only 20% of patients can have the tumor surgically removed).
Most people who have pancreatic cancer who choose to undergo treatment will receive a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. However, when cancer has spread beyond the pancreas, pancreatic cancer is incurable and most people do not survive more than one year.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Most Victoza pancreatic tumors grow without causing any symptoms in the initial stages of the disease. By the time symptoms appear, the tumor is usually very advanced and there are very few treatment options. Early symptoms of the disease include:
- Dark urine, clay-colored stools
- Fatigue, weakness
- Jaundice (yellow color to the skin, mucous membranes, whites of the eyes)
- Loss of appetite, weight-loss
- Nausea, vomiting
- Pain or discomfort in the upper part of the belly or abdomen
- Back pain
- Blood clots
Do I have a Victoza Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Victoza pancreatic cancer injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Victoza, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Victoza Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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