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Doctors say link between Vytorin and cancer cannot be ruled out

MUNICH, Germany - Results so far from three studies of the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin are not enough to prove or rule out a possible link to a higher risk of cancer, so the drug should be used with caution until more is known, editors of a leading medical journal urged Tuesday.

The New England Journal of Medicine published results online from one study and an analysis of partial results from two others. They also were presented at a cardiology conference in Munich.

'I don't think there is any evidence of hazard here,' concluded Sir Richard Peto, a cancer epidemiologist who is helping lead one of the drug company-sponsored studies.

The federal Food and Drug Administration is looking into the cancer concerns but has said that patients should not stop taking Vytorin because the evidence of any link is unclear.

With other options available for heart patients, some doctors said there was no obvious reason to take Vytorin. 'There's no proof that this combination is working,' said Dr. Christer Hoglund, a cardiologist at Sweden's Karolinska Institute.

'We don't know that this drug is bad, but we don't know that it's any good either.'