When faced with a cancer diagnosis, the end goal is to be cancer-free and return to normal, everyday life as soon as possible. The treatment process can be long and arduous, but upon entering remission, the road ahead is filled with a renewed sense of life and hope. While no one is untouched or unchanged by their journey, no one should be faced with a daily, glaring reminder of it either. For patients whose treatment regimens included the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (Docetaxel), the possibility of permanent hair loss may be that daily reminder.
The legal team at the Fitch Law Firm may be able to help those experiencing this detrimental and permanent loss to stop doing so in silence.
Permanent Hair Loss Studies & FDA Warnings
Taxotere is FDA approved for the treatment of breast, gastric, head and neck, non-small cell lung, and prostate cancers. Chemotherapy drugs are unable to distinguish between normal and cancerous cells, but the normal cells typically grow back to be healthy ones. During chemotherapy treatment, side effects based on the destruction of normal cells will occur (e.g., mouth sores, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea). During the normal cell regrowth period, some breast cancer patients that were prescribed Taxotere as part of their chemotherapy regimen found that hair growth was not restored. While studies and research have shined a light on this discovery, patients were left in the dark for way too long.
- In 2006, Dr. Scot Sedlacek of Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers shared his study of breast cancer patients who experienced Persistent Significant Alopecia (PSA). Sedlacek’s study of patients over an 11 year period found that 6.3% of those following a chemotherapy regimen including Taxotere experienced PSA or permanent hair loss.
- In April 2009, the FDA sent a written warning to Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of Taxotere, reprimanding them for making unsubstantiated superiority claims in their promotional materials and requiring them to make appropriate changes.
- In 2013, the National Cancer Research Institute published yet another study linking breast cancer patients who followed a chemotherapy regimen including Taxotere to persistent hair loss. In this study of patients that received treatment with Taxotere in 2010, it was found that 15.8% reported experiencing significant permanent hair loss.
It wasn’t until December 2015 that an FDA labeling change came into effect where permanent alopecia was added to the Adverse Reactions list for Taxotere. These startling statistics existed in the medical community for over 9 years before patients became privy to this life-altering information. If you had been given all the facts, would you have made the choice to move forward with a treatment which included Taxotere?
Moving Forward with Permanent Hair Loss
While life vs. hair may seem like an easy decision, an informed decision was not one that patients using Taxotere were able to make. After the physically and emotionally draining treatment process for cancer, survivors should not find themselves facing a permanent adverse reaction of persistent hair loss. Entering remission is a life-changing milestone; regaining hair growth and returning to a renewed sense of self is another equally joyous milestone. What a liberating feeling to say good-bye to the days of wigs and scarves. No drug company should be able to rob survivors of these moments.
If you or a loved one has experienced permanent hair loss from a chemotherapy regimen including Taxotere, the Fitch Law Firm may be able to help you. Our compassionate and experienced team understands that nothing can make up for the personal and emotional turmoil of living with permanent hair loss. We believe that those who manufacture defective products must be held accountable.
The Fitch Law Firm is here to fight for your rights. Contact us at 1-855-LAW-OHIO today or fill out our online consultation form.