Platelet E-News: August 23, 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

 

MEGAKARYOCYTES AND PLATELETS SHOWN TO INHIBIT CANCER CELL GROWTH

A healthy body needs a controlled growth of new blood vessels: too few new blood vessels and wounds don’t heal; too many promote cancer. One of the factors limiting blood vessel growth is called thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), which can be expelled by cells near a cancerous tumor and perhaps by the tumor itself as the body attempts to heal.

To their surprise, researchers found that TSP-1 in circulation in cancerous mice can be absorbed by megakaryocytes, cells in the bone marrow that produce platelets. The megakaryocytes then embed some of the absorbed TSP-1 in their output of platelets. This circulating platelet TSP-1 can help halt tumor progression and control the cancer. More experiments are needed to determine if human tumors and megakaryocytes behave in the same manner as those in mice and if this finding can be used for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Zaslavsky A, “Platelet-derived thrombospondin-1 is a critical negative regulator and potential biomarker of angiogenesis.” Blood. 2010 Jun 3;115 (22):4605-13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20086246

 

 

SCOTTISH MEDICINES CONSORTIUM ACCEPTS REVOLADE® (ELTROMBOPAG) FOR TREATMENT OF ADULT ITP

The Scottish Medicines Consortium of the National Health Services of Scotland has accepted Revolade® (generic name: eltrombopag, brand name: Promacta® in the US), a pill that stimulates the body to produce more platelets, for restrictive use in the treatment of ITP. Revolade will be available to those ITP patients in Scotland who are symptomatic or have a high risk of bleeding after failing corticosteroids (ex. Prednisone) or immunoglobulins (IVIg), have had a splenectomy, or for whom the surgery would cause a problem.

“Scottish Medicines Consortium recommends Revolade (eltrombopag) for the treatment of chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Pharmalive News,10 August, 2010.

http://www.pharmalive.com/News/index.cfm?articleid=722550&categoryid=51

 

 

ROMIPLOSTIM APPEARS USEFUL AS TREATMENT OPTION FOR THROMBOCYOPENIA IN CERTAIN MYELODYSPLASIA PATIENTS

In myelodysplasia or myelodysplasic syndrome (MDS), the bone marrow does not produce the normal number of blood cells, including platelets, often leaving patients with a reduced platelet count and at risk of bleeding. Researchers tested romiplostim (Nplate®), a protein that can stimulate the bone marrow to produce more platelets, in patients with a milder form of MDS who were taking azacitidine. They hoped the treatment would reduce their patients’ bleeding symptoms and the need for platelet transfusions. Researchers concluded that romiplostim may be helpful in this context. While the results were promising and met the goals, they were not statistically significant because of the small number of patients enrolled in the study.

In a prior study of romiplostim for patients with a mild form of MDS, 45% of the participants increased their platelet count, with higher responses in those whose platelet count was greater than 20,000 before treatment (the response was not dependent on the dose).

Kantarjian HM, “Phase II study of romiplostim in patients with low- or intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndrome receiving azacitidine therapy.” Blood. 2010 Jul 14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20631375

Kantarjian H. “Safety and efficacy of romiplostim in patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and thrombocytopenia.” J Clin Oncol. 2010 Jan 20; 28 (3):437-44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20008626

 

 

NEWS FROM THE EUROPEAN HEMATOLOGY ASSOCIATION MEETING

The annual European Hematology Association meeting (June 10 -13, 2010, Barcelona, Spain) attracted thousands of researchers and clinicians. Research highlights for people with ITP and other platelet disorders included:

Fatigue in people with ITP is greater in those with a higher level of inflammation as measured by IL6.

Researchers are investigating whether the prevalence of blood clots in people with ITP is due to circulating microparticles.

Vitamin D3 helps facilitate the communication between the brain and blood stem cells (which create platelets).

Platelets may shed about 1,049 different proteins as they go about their transport and blood clotting work.

People may have more microparticles in circulation than previously thought as measured by new lab techniques.

Read more in the summer issue of The Platelet News sent to members of PDSA. See http://www.pdsa.org/contribute/individual-memberships.html to join.

View the EHA program and abstracts at: http://www.ehaweb.org/Congress/Previous-Congresses.

 

 

 

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

SURVEY FINDS MANY DOCTORS WOULD NOT REPORT MISCONDUCT OF A FELLOW PROFESSIONAL

The medical profession is supposed to be self-regulating with peers reporting instances of problem behavior. Of the1,891 physicians who responded to a survey, 64% agreed that “physicians should report all instances of significantly impaired or incompetent colleagues…” Although 17% had direct knowledge of colleague incompetencies in the previous three years, 33% failed to report the incident. Physicians in universities or medical schools were most likely to support reporting and felt prepared to do so, while those in solo or two-person practices were least likely to support reporting.

DesRoches CM, et al. “Physicians' perceptions, preparedness for reporting, and experiences related to impaired and incompetent colleagues.” JAMA. 2010 Jul 14;304 (2):187-93. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20628132

 

 

NEW FEDERAL WEB SITE ASSISTS CONSUMERS WITH HEALTH INSURANCE

A new Web site, www.healthcare.gov, created by the Health and Human Services division of the US government, can help consumers find health insurance options, learn about disease prevention, and compare hospital service. The site provides information specific to age, number of family members, pre-existing condition, and disability status.

 

 

 

General Health and Medicine

 

EXERCISE INCREASES BRAIN GROWTH FACTORS THAT HELP MAKE NEW BRAIN CELLS

Exercise can help you lose weight, improve body image, and lift depression. Now researchers, building on their work from 1992 that showed people can make new brain cells, learned more about the proteins that regulate the brain-building process. They found that exercise reduced the amount of bone-morphogenetic protein or BMP, a protein that slows the development of new brain cells. Exercise also increased Noggin, another protein, and one that speeds the development of new brain cells.

Reynolds G, “Phys Ed: Your Brain on Exercise.” New York Times. 7 July, 2010, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/your-brain-on-exercise

Mira H, “Signaling through BMPR-IA regulates quiescence and long-term activity of neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus.” Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Jul 2;7 (1):78-89. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20621052

 

 

AGEs IN YOUR FOOD MAY BE AGING YOU

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in food can accumulate in your body over time to promote oxidation and inflammation, conditions that can make you look and feel older. AGEs in food are created when sugars combine with protein, fats, and other ingredients, especially at high heat. Some fast food restaurants even add synthetic AGEs to enhance the flavor of their food. To help reduce the AGEs in your life, eat more fruits and vegetables, cook fresh food at low heat in the presence of water or humidity, and avoid cigarette smoke. This is especially important for seniors since the body’s ability to remove AGEs decreases with age.

Note: Although the effect of AGEs has not been studied specifically in ITP, increased inflammation has been linked to ITP and other autoimmune diseases.

“Are AGEs in Your Food Aging You? Cook low, slow and moist to reduce compounds linked to aging and chronic disease.” Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter March, 2010

 

 

 

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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: www.pdsa.org, e-mail: pdsa@pdsa.org

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