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Platelet E-News – December 22, 2009

This e-newsletter is a monthly publication of the Platelet Disorder Support Association. The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. For advice on your unique medical condition, please consult a health care professional.

Contents:

ITP Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine

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ITP Research and Treatments

HIGHER RISK OF HOSPITAL-BASED INFECTION IN PATIENTS WITH SPLENECTOMY

The risk of infection from hospital contact was 10 times greater than the general population in the first 90 days after splenectomy report researchers in Denmark. They compared 3,812 people who underwent splenectomy with the general population, appendectomized patients, and unsplenectomized patients with an indication for splenectomy. From 91 to 365 days, the splenectomized patients had a 4.6 times greater risk and after 365 days, a 2.5 times greater risk. The risks for splenectomized patients were also greater than the other comparison groups, although the differences were smaller.

Thomsen RW, Schoonen WM, Farkas DK, Riis A, Jacobsen J, Fryzek JP, Sørensen HT. “Risk for hospital contact with infection in patients with splenectomy: a population-based cohort study.” Ann Intern Med. 2009, Oct 20; 151 (8):546-55.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19841456

REPORTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY MEETING

The recent American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting, held December 5 to 8 in New Orleans, Louisiana, was packed with presentations, posters, and exhibits, all highlighting the latest hematology research. You can learn more about the meeting and read the abstracts and education booklet at
http://www.hematology.org/Meetings/Annual-Meeting/

PDSA staff will cull, sort, and summarize the most relevant information from the meeting and publish the results in the winter issue of The Platelet News.

For more information about The Platelet News see: http://www.pdsa.org/itp-information/pdsa-products-publications.html

DATA PRESENTED ON LONG-TERM ROMIPLOSTIM (NPLATE®) STUDY IN ADULTS AND FIRST STUDY IN CHILDREN

Of the 291 adults who participated in prior clinical trials and enrolled in a long-term study (up to 244 weeks) for NPlate, a protein that increases platelet production, 94% experienced a platelet count of more than 50,000 per microliter at least once and 50% of the people achieved a platelet count of more than 50,000 per microliter during 95% of study visits. Adverse events did not increase with longer treatment.

James B. Bussel, MD et al, Long-Term Efficacy and Safety of Romiplostim for the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): 5-Year Update From An Open-Label Extension Study (abstract 681)

http://ash.confex.com/ash/2009/webprogram/Paper19348.html

In a randomized 12-week trial of NPlate in children with chronic ITP, 88% of those receiving the study drug achieved the study goal of a platelet count of 50,000 or more than 20,000 above their baseline for two consecutive weeks. The side effects were generally mild and those in the treatment arm had fewer bleeding events.

George R. Buchanan, MD, et al, A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase 1/2 Study to Determine the Safety and Efficacy of Romiplostim in Children with Chronic Immune (Idiopathic) Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) (abstract 680)

http://ash.confex.com/ash/2009/webprogram/Paper19358.html

NEWS ON LONG-TERM STUDY OF ELTROMBOPAG (PROMACTA ®) AND UPCOMING STUDY IN CHILDREN

In a 2-year evaluation of an on-going, long-term study of Promacta, 86% of the 299 patients achieved a platelet count above 50,000 per microliter with 71% of those on the study more than 12 months achieving that count Bleeding symptoms were reduced and the side effects of the drug were generally mild to moderate. (abstract 682)
Mansoor N. Saleh, et al, Long-Term Treatment of Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura with Oral Eltrombopag:

Results from the EXTEND Study: http://ash.confex.com/ash/2009/webprogram/Paper24081.html

A new safety and efficacy study of eltrombopag (Promacta) in children is now enrolling patients. Older children (12 to 17) will be enrolled first to assess the safety of the drug before enrolling younger patients. After seven weeks of treatment, patients will receive eltrombopag in an open-labeled study.

For more information see: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00908037

NEW ITP TREATMENT CONSENSUS DOCUMENT PUBLISHED ON-LINE IN BLOOD

The “International consensus report on the investigation and management of primary immune thrombocytopenia”, a culmination of 18 months of effort by 22 experts from 8 countries led by Dr. Drew Provan, was published on-line October 21 in the journal Blood. The document synthesizes the published evidence and expertise of the panel on all aspects of managing and treating ITP.

It is available on-line to anyone who is a member of the American Society of Hematology or subscribes to the journal, Blood. It will be printed in Blood in the next few months and available free to all at that time.

For access information see: http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/cgi/reprint/blood-2009-06-225565v1

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Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

PATIENTS OFTEN UNAWARE OF WHICH DRUGS THEY ARE PRESCRIBED IN THE HOSPITAL

Almost all of the 50 self-aware, English-speaking patients in a Colorado Hospital study omitted one or more of their prescribed medications when asked to make a list. On average, patients omitted seven medications. Almost half of the participants thought they were receiving a medication they were not prescribed. Since a prior study found that one in five hospital medication doses were given in error, it is important to increase patient education and involvement to help improve medication safety.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123207830/

FDA APPROVES LYSTEDA (TRANEXAMIC ACID) TO TREAT HEAVY MENSTRUAL BLEEDING

Lysteda (tranexamic acid), approved by the FDA November 13, is the first non-hormonal product sanctioned to treat heavy menstrual bleeding by promoting the formation of blood clots. The FDA warns that taking Lysteda along with birth control pills may increase the chances of a heart attack and stroke. An injectable form of the tranexamic acid was approved in 1986 and has been used to stop bleeding in various circumstances such as bleeding associated with uterine fibroids or surgery.

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm190551.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tranexamic_acid

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General Health and Medicine

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS MAY RESULT FROM INSECTICIDE USE

After examining the records of 76,861 women from the Women’s Health Initiative database, researchers determined that there was an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, both autoimmune diseases, after exposure to insecticides from either farm or home use. The longer the insecticide use the greater the chance of developing these diseases.

Parks, CG, et al. “Farm History, Insecticide Use and Risk of Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study” Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60, October 2009 Abstract Supplement
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/acrmeeting/abstract.asp?MeetingID=761&id=80244&meeting=ART

(Note: ITP is also an autoimmune disease)

TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION (TM) FOUND TO REDUCE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

In a randomized, controlled study, college students who practiced Transcendental Meditation reduced their blood pressure and associated psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and anger. Blood pressure and psychological stress were more markedly reduced in those students who were prone to high blood pressure. About one-third of the US population suffers from high blood pressure.

Nidich, SI, et al. “A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults.” Am J Hypertens. 2009 Dec;22 (12):1326-31

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19798037

http://www.elements4health.com/study-finds-transcendental-meditation-reduces-high-blood-pressure.html

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This e-newsletter is published by the Platelet Disorder Support Association, 133 Rollins Avenue, Suite 5, Rockville, MD 20852, phone 1-87-Platelet, fax: 301-770-6638, web: http://www.pdsa.org, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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