Types of cancer linked to Medtronic Infuse bone growth could include breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.
While researchers indicate that Infuse is probably not a carcinogen itself, if it is linked to a higher cancer risk, it is probably as a cancer promoter.
The study, which has not yet been published, was headed by Dr. Eugene Carragee, editor-in-chief of the Spine Journal and a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Carragee authored a report in June that found that 10% to 50% of Infuse recipients experienced complications during the clinical trials, including cancer, pain, infections and sterility. However, those problems were not mentioned in studies published by researchers with financial ties to Medtronic.
Medtronic Infuse is used to encourage bone growth and replace spinal disks by filling the gaps between vertebrae. It was approved by the FDA in 2002 and generated about $900 million in sales for Medtronic in the last fiscal year.
Suspicions about Infuse’s clinical trials have led to inquiries by Congress, and the company is under investigation by the Department of Justice for illegally marketing Infuse for off-label uses.
Scientists first began raising questions when they suspected a link between male sterility and Infuse, but medical researchers who received millions of dollars from Medtronic, claimed they could find no link. Some of those researchers later revealed that out of six cases of reported sterility noted during clinical trials, five of those were men treated with Infuse.