Print this page

Platelet E-News: June 23, 2011

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 and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ITP and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments

 

REPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN HEMATOLOGY ASSOCIATION MEETING

The 16th Congress of the European Hematology Association was held June 9 to 12, 2011 in London. Below are some highlights. You can find full meeting information at http://eha.eurocongres.com/16th.

Largest Nplate® Study Results Reported
Researchers presented the preliminary results for the first 235 of 400 ITP patients enrolled in the ‘209 study’ of Nplate, a treatment that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more platelets. Eighty-six percent of the patients achieved a platelet count of 50,000 or more, usually responding in a week. The most common side effects were headache, fatigue, and joint pain.

PR Newswire. “Amgen's Nplate(R) Rapidly Increased Platelet Counts in Adults with Primary ITP.” June 10, 2011.
http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=323903

For more information about this type of treatment see:
http://www.pdsa.org/treatments/conventional/platelet-growth-factors.html

Symphogen Announces Phase II Trial Results of New ITP Treatment
Rozrolimupab (SYM001), a mixture of monoclonal antibodies against the RhD factor on red blood cells, was tested at various doses in 36 non-splenectomized, Rh+ ITP patients. Seventy percent of the patients in the trial responded. The most common side effects were headache and fever.

Symphogen Press Release. “Symphogen Presents Preliminary Results from Phase 2 Clinical Trial with Rozrolimupab at the Annual European Hematology Association.” June 10, 2011.
http://www.symphogen.com/web/guest/newsarchive/readmore?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_ZUuU&articleId=109126

For more information about this type of treatment see:
http://www.pdsa.org/treatments/conventional/anti-d.html

European Survey Highlights ITP Patient Impact
Of the 158 ITP patients interviewed for this survey in six European countries, one-fourth felt the impact of ITP on their life was severe. Forty percent of the patients had tried three or more therapies and 80% felt their treatment could be improved.

PR Newswire. “New European Survey of ITP: Insight into Treatment Experience for Patients with Rare Blood Disorder” June 10, 2010.
http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=323844

 

 

PLATELETS HELP CONTROL GROWTH OF NEW BLOOD VESSELS

Platelets secrete proteins that can both promote and halt the growth of new blood vessels from existing ones (angiogenesis) by managing the recruitment of bone marrow derived cells in circulation. Sometimes this new blood vessel growth is welcome, as in heart-attack recovery, and other times unwelcome, since promoting blood vessel growth expands the size of cancerous solid tumors. It is still unknown how platelets decide when, where, or if to mobilize the bone marrow cells to help form new blood vessels.

Ware J, Suva LJ. "Platelets to hemostasis and beyond." Blood. 2011 Apr ;117 (14):3703-4.

Feng W et al. "A novel role for platelet secretion in angiogenesis: mediating bone marrow-derived cell mobilization and homing." Blood. 2011 Apr 7;117 (14):3893-902.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21224474

 

 

NEW PLATELET PRODUCTION TESTS HELP EXPLAIN TREATMENT RESULTS

Researchers determined the amount of immature platelets (absolute immature platelet fraction, A-IPF) and the plasma glycocalicin index (PGI), a measure of platelet destruction, for 24 ITP patients on various treatments and 8 healthy controls. Their test findings confirmed that anti-D and IVIg work mainly by inhibiting platelet destruction and eltrombopag by stimulating platelet production. Those who didn’t respond to eltrombopag had increased megakaryocytes in their bone marrow, but antibodies attacking the megakaryocytes prevented platelet release.

The A-IPF and PGI, along with specific platelet antibody tests, could potentially be used to measure the relative platelet production or destruction for an individual and help physicians and patients select the best treatment option.

Stasi R. “The stingy bone marrow and the wasteful peripheral blood: a tale of two ITPs” Blood. 2011 May 26;117 (21):5553-4.

Barsam SJ, “Platelet production and platelet destruction: assessing mechanisms of treatment effect in immune thrombocytopenia” Blood. 2011 May 26;117 (21):5723-32.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21389318

 

 

 

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM LISTS MORE CARCINOGENS

Eight new substances that could cause cancer were listed in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 12th annual report on carcinogen substances, including the common chemicals formaldehyde and styrene. Formaldehyde is found in many home-building materials and in some food. Styrene is included in a large number of household and industrial plastic and rubber products.

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on a new program, Tox21, to automate the testing of even more potentially harmful substances.

“National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens.” June 10, 2011.
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/roc12

Computational Toxicology Research Program.
http://www.epa.gov/ncct/Tox21/

 

 

PROPOSED RULE EXPANDS PATIENT ACCESS TO HEALTH INFO

Currently, electronic access to someone’s protected health information is tracked, but there is no requirement to share who accessed that information with the patient. The US Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule to change that. The new rule would give an individual the right to request a report of those who viewed their electronic health information. The proposed rule is open for public comment until August 1, 2011.

HHS Press Release. “HHS announces proposed changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule.” May 31, 2011.
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/05/20110531c.html

 

 

 

General Health and Medicine

 

LOW VITAMIN D LEVELS LINKED TO PNEUMONIA DEATHS

Researchers measured the vitamin D level of 112 people hospitalized in the winter with community-acquired pneumonia. They found those who had a vitamin D deficiency were more apt to die from the disease than those who had adequate vitamin D levels. The authors speculate that reduced sunlight exposure during winter may play a part in the increase of pneumonia during that season.

Note: Splenectomized people have fewer immune defenses against community-acquired pneumonia.

Leow L et al. “Vitamin D, innate immunity and outcomes in community acquired pneumonia.” Respirology. 2011 May;16 (4):6116.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21244571

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP AND FDA HELP CONSUMERS CHOOSE BEST SUNSCREENS

The Environmental Working Group released its 5th annual sunscreen guide, including a list of recommended brands and those that contain harmful ingredients. On their Web site you can read their report and search by sunscreen brand and type to check the safety before you buy. Hats, clothing, and shade are also effective sunscreens.

“Environmental Working Group Sunscreens 2011”
http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new regulations regarding sunscreen manufacturers’ claims of spf, coverage, and water-resistance, along with additional product labeling requirements. They also updated their Web site with more consumer sunscreen information.

“FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens”
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

To unsubscribe: send an email to: pdsa@pdsa.org and place ‘remove’ in the subject line. To change your e-mail address, send an e-mail with your old and new address to: pdsa@pdsa.org