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This week the FDA launched an investigation into an increased risk of cancer and death that may be associated with the Johnson & Johnson foot gel, Regranex. The foot gel, approved by the FDA in 1997, is used to treat leg and foot wounds most commonly associated with diabetes. A study found an increase in the number of cancer deaths among patients who had been prescribed the medication three or more times.

“At this time, FDA believes that there may be some evidence for an increased risk of death from cancer in patients who had repeated treatments with Regranex,” the FDA said in a statement. “Because there are known risks associated with diabetic foot and leg ulcers that do not heal, the potential risk of using Regranex should be weighed against the benefit for each individual patient.”

A study preformed in 2001 found more cancers in patients that had used Regranex than in those that had not used the gel. The FDA has not said who conducted or the size of the sample group used in the current study.

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