Platelet E-News – February 22, 2010

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

 

PLATELETS CAN DIVIDE

Platelets, although they are missing a nucleus, can multiply and form new platelets after they are released from the bone marrow, according to researchers at the University of Utah who observed this new phenomenon in blood stored for distribution as well as in cultures. Outside of the body, platelets can continue to grow and divide, first forming an elongated dumbbell shape, then splitting in two. One of the next steps for the group is to study the process in flowing blood.

Schwertz H, “Anucleate platelets generate progeny,” Blood. 2010 Jan 19 (e-pub)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086251

 

 

NOW ENROLLING – CLINICAL TRIAL FOR NEW TPO DRUG

Shionogi USA is now enrolling adults diagnosed with ITP who are 18 years or older in a randomized clinical trial of S-88871, a new, once-daily thrombopoietin (TPO) pill designed to stimulate the bone marrow to make more platelets. While Shionogi is not a well-recognized name in the US, the Japanese know it as one of their largest pharmaceutical companies.

Find details on the study sites, duration of the trial, drug dosage, and enrollment criteria at http://www.clinicaltrial.gov/ct2/show/NCT01054443 or contact Wendy Curran at (973) 966-6900 ext 128.

 

 

NEW FDA LABEL FOR WINRHO SDF® CALLS FOR LONGER POST-INFUSION OBSERVATION

The WinRho SDF® package insert now includes a stronger warning about the possibility of intravascular hemolysis (IVH), destruction of red blood cells in circulation, and recommendations for the doctor to do additional laboratory tests and increase observation time after the administration. While this side effect may occur in a very small percentage of people, it can lead to serious consequences if not caught or treated. Any signs of IVH, including back pain, shaking chills, fever, and discolored urine, should be reported to the doctor immediately.

For more information see:
http://www.pdsa.org/treatments/conventional/anti-d.html

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/ApprovedProducts/LicensedProductsBLAs/FractionatedPlasmaProducts/ucm089397.htm

 

 

EISAI, INC COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF AKARX, INC.

Eisai, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of AkaRx, Inc., including the rights to develop, manufacture, and market AKR-501, a drug that stimulates platelet production. AkaRx, Inc. and later MGI Pharma, Inc. have conducted a Phase II trial for the drug in ITP. Eisai will also test the compound for thrombocytopenia associated with liver disease and chemotherapy.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/eisai-completes-acquisition-of-akarx-inc-and-continues-development-of-akr-501-for-thrombocytopenia-80845092.html

 

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Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

TIPS TO HELP PATIENTS NEGOTIATE LOWER MEDICAL BILLS

If you’re insured, under-insured, or uninsured it is possible to negotiate a reduction in your medical bills, according to Carrie McLean, of eHealthinsurance.com. Paying cash and paying quickly are good negotiating points. Other strategies include getting a quote up front, arranging a payment plan, researching the Medicare reimbursement rate, checking for billing errors, and hiring a medical negotiator.

Gina Roberts-Grey, “Woman slashes $10,000 in medical bills by almost 30%. How you can, too.”

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/02/12/woman-slashes-10-000-in-medical-bills-by-almost-30-how-you-ca/

 

General Health and Medicine

 

THYME OIL CALMS INFLAMMATION AND H-PYLORI

When researchers in Japan screened essential oils for anti-inflammatory properties they found that thyme oil reduced the Cox-2 inflammatory marker by 75%. Carvacrol, a compound in thyme oil, was the most active anti-inflammatory ingredient. In another study, thyme oil reduced Helicobacter pylori activity in a controlled setting.

(Note: both inflammation and H. pylori have been associated with ITP) Hotta M, “Carvacrol, a component of thyme oil, activates PPARalpha and gamma and suppresses COX-2 expression.” J Lipid Res. 2010 Jan; 51(1):132-9.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19578162

Eftekhar F, “Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity and essential oil composition of Thymus caramanicus from Iran.” Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Aug; 4(8):1139-42.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19769000

 

 

BPA INTERFERES WITH DIGESTION

BPA (bisphenol A), a chemical often found in plastics and the lining of metal cans can reduce the ability of intestines to absorb nutrients and can increase digestive inflammation. It had long been known that BPA behaves like a hormone and it has been linked to breast cancer, obesity, early onset of puberty, among other conditions, but this research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is the first to examine the effect of BPA on the gut.

Braniste, et al, “Impact of oral bisphenol A at reference doses on intestinal barrier function and sex differences after perinatal exposure in rats.” PNAS January 5, 2010 vol. 107 no. 1 448-453

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/1/448.abstract?sid=3f35d631-75f7-49c3-ac3f-aa14c8966e22

http://www.physorg.com/news182959051.html

 

 

FDA AND HHS TAKE ACTION ON BPA

BPA is coming under increased scrutiny by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its subsidiary, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because children, especially infants, are more susceptible to the effects of BPA, HHS has published a guide for parents on their Web site. For its part, the FDA is funding additional research on the effects of BPA as well as supporting efforts to reduce its use.

 

“Bisphenol A (BPA) Information for Parents”
http://www.hhs.gov/safety/bpa/

“Bisphenol A (BPA): Update on Bisphenol A (BPA) for Use in Food: January 2010”
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm064437.htm

 

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