Platelet E-News – November 18, 2002

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.


  • Drug-dependent Antibodies May Cause Low Platelets
  • Health Industry News – 2 Week Free Trial
  • Looking Forward to Upcoming Events
  • ITP Meetings
  • Orphan Disease Act Signed
  • Platelet E-news Change
  • How much time does your intravenous (IV) therapy take? (advertisement)



Drug dependent antibodies can cause acute thrombocytopenia after the administration of tirofiban or eptifibatide according to a report in the November, 2002 issue of Hem/Onc Today. Tirofiban marketed as Aggrastat by Merck and eptifibatide marketed as Integrelin by Cor Therapeutics are designed to inhibit the action of GPIIb/IIIa receptors on the surface of platelets during the treatment of heart disease.

During a new study by the Blood Research Institute at the Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin a small subset of patients had profound, unexplained thrombocytopenia. After examining this case and other evidence the authors concluded that drug dependant antibodies were responsible for the drop in platelets.

For more information on Aggrastat and to view a video of platelet function go to

Low platelet counts have been associated with many drugs. See and Dr. James George’s site for a list


The Wall Street Journal has a new on-line Health Industry Edition. You can get two free weeks of access by visiting


British ITP Treatment Guidelines

Members of the British Society for Haematology have completed a document outlining standard treatment guidelines for ITP. We anxiously await their publication. They will appear on:

The American Society of Hematology published treatment guidelines in 1996. They are available at Several hematologists have suggested the ASH guidelines be updated and are seeking funding.

ASH Meeting

The American Society of Hematology meeting is scheduled for December 6 – 10, 2002 in Philadelphia. We will be there taking notes at the many education and poster sessions as well as hosting a booth. We will report the treatment and research news from the meeting in our newsletter and e-news. See and for more information about the meeting.

On Friday morning, December 6, we will be attending the “Fourth Annual Review of Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura”. This meeting sponsored by the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and funded by a grant from Nabi Biopharmaceuticals is not restricted to conference attendees. If you would like to attend, just contact us at

Transfusion Medicine/Hemostatis Clinical Research Network

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health has awarded very large grants to research institutions to study and perform clinical trials in non-malignant blood disorders. This includes ITP. We are anxiously awaiting the list of participants. The members of this network will bring a strong focus to ITP research and clinical trials.


Regional Meetings

We will be holding our first regional ITP meeting in Philadelphia on December 5, 2002 at 7:30 PM at the Holiday Inn Express – Mid-town. Dr. Gerald Sandler will speak on “ITP Then and Now”. This meeting is made possible by a restricted education grant from Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. See for more information. If you would like to attend or have further questions, e-mail

We will be planning more regional meetings during 2003. These will be announced in our e-mails, newsletter, and appear on our calendar page We look forward to meeting more of you, helping you meet others, and providing more opportunities to learn.

ITP Conference 2003

Reserve this date: June 20-22, 2003. Our 2003 conference will be held June 20-22, 2003 at the Radisson Hotel O’Hare in Rosemont, IL near the large airport serving the Chicago area. Drs. James Bussel, John Semple, and Michael Tarantino have agreed to speak. We will be adding to the speaker list and agenda soon. Watch your e-mail and our web site for more information as we continue to plan. We thank Creta, one of our volunteers, for helping us find the conference space. We really value her assistance.

The attendees at our prior conferences learned much from the presentations and had a great time. You can find information about our conferences 2001 and 2002 at We hope to see you in June.


President Bush signed the Rare Diseases Act and the Rare Diseases Orphan Product Development Act into law. The Rare Diseases Act doubles the budget for the Office of Rare Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and authorizes the office to award grants for clinical research into rare diseases. The Rare Diseases Orphan Product Development Act doubles the funding for the Food and Drug Administration’s Orphan Products Research Grant program. We thank NORD for all their hard work in securing passage of these bills.

Approximately 25 million Americans suffer from at least one of the known 6,000 rare disorders. Rare (orphan) diseases are defined as medical conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans.


Beginning with the next issue, the platelet e-news will be sent once a month. We will send periodic announcements between the main issues. This will allow us to separate some of our announcements from the news items and have more flexibility in our timing.

For information on advertising in our e-news letter contact us at

This e-newsletter is published by the Platelet Disorder Support Association, P.O. Box 61533, Potomac, MD, 20859, phone/fax: 1-87-Platelet or (301) 294-5967, web:, e-mail:

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