Tuesday October 22, 2019

Effective Treatment to Protect Cancer Patients From Blood Clots

Taking oral drugs daily can be an effective treatment for nearly 10 million cancer patients worldwide suffering from a deadly blood clot condition, results from a clinical trial have showed.

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Blood cells, pixabay

Taking oral drugs daily can be an effective treatment for nearly 10 million cancer patients worldwide suffering from a deadly blood clot condition, results from a clinical trial have shown.

People with cancer have an increased risk of developing blood clots, with roughly one in five experiencing venous thromboembolism (VTE) — either a blood clot in a deep vein or a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot.

The results from the clinical trial called “select-d” suggested that prescribing the oral drug rivaroxaban significantly reduced VTE recurrence among patients with cancer.

“Clinicians were already adopting the oral drug into practice for non-cancer patients and now they have data from this study to indicate that this form of treatment is an alternative option for many cancer patients who have a clot,” said lead author Annie Young, Professor at the University of Warwick in Britain.

Although there are many causes and risk factors for VTE, cancer patients are particularly at risk due to a combination of factors such as immobility, pancreatic and gastric tumours as well as chemotherapy, the researcher said.

The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more 'potent', the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)
Representational image, pixabay

For the “select-d” trial, researchers enrolled 406 patients who had cancer and VTE; most (69 per cent) were receiving cancer treatment (typically chemotherapy) at the time of their VTE.

Half were randomly assigned to receive low-molecular-weight heparin (dalteparin) and half were given the oral drug rivaroxaban. After six months of treatment, the VTE recurrence rate was four per cent among those taking the tablet and 11 per cent in those receiving dalteparin.

The results for secondary outcomes were mixed, the researcher said.

In patients receiving rivaroxaban, there were around the same percentage of major bleeding events (6 per cent) as those receiving dalteparin (4 per cent) but a marked and significant increase in clinically relevant non-major bleeds (13 per cent) with rivaroxaban compared to those having low molecular weight heparin (4 per cent).

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The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more ‘potent’, the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)

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Experts say, Long-Term Exposure to Asbestos can Trigger Lung Cancer

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the potential to cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups

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Cancer
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the potential to cause Cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups. Pixabay

After the US health regulators found traces of asbestos in samples from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder and forced the company to recall 33,000 bottles of talcum powder, physicians in India have warned that long-term exposure of asbestos can trigger lung cancer in children.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the potential to cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health groups.

According to media reports, customers should stop using powder from the affected J&J batch ‘immediately’.

In its defence, the 133-year-old J&J said it had launched a review and prior tests have not found asbestos.

The firm is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who claim its talc products caused cancer, which J&J has strongly denied, said media reports.

“The only protection we have against asbestos is knowledge, vigilance and care for our children. If the lungs of children are pre-mature then they are more prone to get affected by asbestos,” Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant Respiratory Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, told IANS.

“Children, who have accidentally inhaled asbestos, might see the effect after many years. Some can even develop lung cancer. In the advanced stage, one can also suffer from peritoneal mesothelioma,” Chawla explained.

Cancer
Children, who have accidentally inhaled asbestos, might see the effect after many years. Some can even develop lung Cancer. Pixabay

The USFDA has been testing dozens of products for asbestos, a known carcinogen amid rising public concern.

In an earlier statement, J&J said that out of an abundance of caution, “it is initiating a voluntary recall in the United States of a single lot of its Johnson’s Baby Powder in response to a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test indicating the presence of sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination (no greater than 0.00002%) in samples from a single bottle purchased from an online retailer”.

“Despite the low levels reported and in full cooperation and collaboration with the FDA, JJCI is initiating this voluntary recall of Lot #22318RB of Johnson’s Baby Powder, from which the tested sample was taken,” the company added.

According to Anubhava Patel, Consultant Neonatology and Paediatric at Motherhood Hospital in Noida, asbestos can cause restrictive lung disease and severe respiratory insufficiency.

“Long term inhalation can cause lung cancer (mesothelioma). It’s an occupational health hazard. These days asbestos is found in talcum powder and it is harmful to the kids,” Patel told IANS.

According to a case study on 33 patients, published recently in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, exposure to asbestos-tainted talcum powder may cause malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that affects tissues lining internal organs.

Cancer
Exposure to asbestos-tainted talcum powder may cause malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly Cancer that affects tissues lining internal organs. Pixabay

“Exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powders can cause mesothelioma. Clinicians should elicit a history of talcum powder usage in all patients presenting with mesothelioma,” the study noted.

“Mesothelioma is considerably a new condition for India, with the first case being reported in 2015. Much of India’s asbestos-related health is primarily occupational and second-hand exposure,” said Manish Mannan, Pediatrics, Paras Hospital in Gurugram.

He added that kids who work with the material in factories are often the victims of diseases derived from asbestos exposure.

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“Patients may not develop symptoms of mesothelioma as these symptoms are typically only discovered in the later stages of the disease. Treatment involved either some form of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy,” Mannan added. (IANS)