The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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In Brief: Cancer Risk with Salmon Calcitonin

Two FDA advisory committees recently concluded that use of a nasal spray formulation of the peptide hormone salmon calcitonin for treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Salmon calcitonin is available as 2 nasal sprays (Miacalcin, Fortical) and an injectable formulation (Miacalcin Injection) for use in osteoporosis.1

The new cancer concern arose from the results of an unpublished meta-analysis that included 18 studies of Miacalcin Nasal Spray in which the risk of any cancer was 1.54 times greater (95% CI: 1.06, 2.23) in patients who used the drug compared to controls.2

An earlier 5-year trial in >1200 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis also found that use of calcitonin was associated with a small, but statistically significant, increase in the risk of any malignancy (OR 1.62, ... more      

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