Platelet E-News: July 28, 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

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ITP and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments

 

STEROID RESPONSE PREDICTS RITUXAN SUCCESS IN CHILDREN

Researchers examined the charts of 565 children with chronic ITP and found 80 who were treated with both rituximab (Rituxan) and prednisone. Eighty-seven percent of those who had a good response to prednisone responded to rituximab while only 48% of children who failed to respond to prednisone did will on rituximab. Those who had ITP associated with other diseases also had a better than average response to rituximab.

Grace RF et al. “Response to steroids predicts response to rituximab in pediatric chronic immune thrombocytopenia.” Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Jun 14
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21674758

 

 

EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY REVIEW OF ELTROMBOPAG PUBLISHED

In March, 2010, the European Commission authorized marketing eltrombopag (Revolade in Europe, Promacta in the US) for the treatment of ITP based on a recommendation provided by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). A summary of EMA’s scientific review of Revolade, a pill that increases platelet production, is now available to the public. The review contains details of the animal and clinical studies, including dosage and side effects, supporting the EMA recommendation.

Nieto M et al. “The European Medicines Agency review of eltrombopag (Revolade) for the treatment of adult chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura: summary of the scientific assessment of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).” Haematologica. 2011 Jun 28.

Summary: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21712542
Full Text: http://www.haematologica.org/cgi/reprint/haematol.2011.048819v1

 

 

MORE ACCOUNTS OF INHERITED THROMBOCYTOPENIA

Sometimes people diagnosed with ITP have a different disease, familial (inherited) thrombocytopenia. For those with low platelets associated with a genetic mutation nearly 40% fall into unknown disease categories. Researchers in Italy have now characterized the genetic mutations for 21 additional families in a type of familial thrombocytopenia thought to be extremely rare, those with mutations in the ANKRD26 gene. “ Dr. Amy Geddis states, “evaluation for 5’UTR ANKDR26 mutation should be considered in the workup of patients with a family history of thrombocytopenia, especially if there is evidence for normal-sized platelets…”

Geddis AE. “A POTEntial new gene for thrombocytopenia.” Blood. 2011 Jun 16;117 (24):6404-7.

Noris P et al. “Mutations in ANKRD26 are responsible for a frequent form of inherited thrombocytopenia: analysis of 78 patients from 21 families.“Blood. 2011 Jun 16;P (24):6673-80.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21467542

 

 

LINK BETWEEN ITP AND THE ENVIRONMENT RECEIVES ATTENTION

According to an article in Environmental Health Perspectives featuring ITP, prevalence rates for many autoimmune diseases are rising due to environmental influences. For example, the solvent trichloroethylene (TCE), contaminating much of our groundwater, alters CD4+ T-cells, cells instrumental in controlling the immune reaction in ITP and other autoimmune disease. A future registry for all autoimmune diseases, similar to the cancer registry, would highlight the geographic areas where these diseases are clustered and help identify environmental autoimmune triggers.

Schmidt CW 2011. “Questions Persist: Environmental Factors in Autoimmune Disease.” Environ Health Perspect 119:a248-a253. doi:10.1289/ehp.119-a248

Full text:
http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.119-a248

 

 

DOCTORS LEARN WHAT THEY SHOULD ASK THEIR ITP PATIENTS

Another free CME tutorial, “What We Should Ask Our Patients” by Dr. Howard Liebman, is available in the “How I Treat ITP” series from Hemedicus and posted on the Web site, Hematology Times. Other tutorials in the series include “Revisiting Our Practice Patterns” by Dr. David Kuter and “Is It Time for a New Standard of Care?” by Dr. James Bussel. Drs. Liebman, Kuter and Bussel are among PDSA’s medical advisors.

You can access the tutorials at:
http://www.hematologytimes.com/cme/cme-how-i-treat-itp.jsp

 

 

 

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

FDA HIGHLIGHTS SAFE MEDICINE USE

According to the new FDA Web page, “Safe Use Initiative: Preventing Harm from Medicines,” up to 50% of harm from medicines can be prevented. The Safe Use Initiative, launched in 2009, includes hospitals, healthcare workers, insurance companies, government agencies, and consumer groups in a joint effort to prevent medication problems. For their part, consumers are encouraged to read the ingredient labels of their medications and be aware that about 55% of injuries occur when they get their medications from friends and family.

“Safe Use Initiative: Preventing Harm from Medicines”
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm261175.htm

 

 

AMA FINDS TWENTY PERCENT INSURANCE ERROR RATE

According to the American Medical Association’s (AMA's) “2011 National Health Insurer Report Card,” the rate of inaccurate commercial insurance claims rose last year and now approaches 20%. According to the report, inaccurate claims, often delaying or denying payments, add an estimated $1.5 billion to administrative health costs and correcting insurance errors could save as much as $17 billion annually. United Healthcare had the best claim accuracy and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield the worst.

“New AMA Health Insurer Report Card Finds Increasing Inaccuracy in Claims Payment” AMA Press Release. June 20, 2011.
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/ama-health-insurer-report-card.page

Full Report:
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/heal-claims-process/national-health-insurer-report-card.page

 

 

 

General Health and Medicine

 

WEIGHT GAIN LINKED TO DIET SODA AND REFINED CARBOHYDRATES

In a study measuring diet soda consumption of 474 people aged 65 to 74, after an average 9.5 year follow-up, those who drank two or more diet sodas per day had a waist circumference five times greater than those who abstained from the drink.

In a different study, researchers found that people gained weight if they ate (in order) more potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, unprocessed red meats, and processed meats. People lost weight if they ate (in order) more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt.

“Related studies point to the illusion of the artificial.” University of Texas San Antonio press release.
http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=3861

Mozaffarian D et al. “Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men.” N Engl J Med. 2011 Jun 23;364 (25):2392-404.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21696306

 

 

PROLONGED TV WATCHING ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED DEATH RATE

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that for every two hours of television watched daily, the risk of diabetes increased by 20%, the risk of cardiovascular disease increased by15 %, and the risk of all-cause mortality increased by 13%. According to Dr. Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health, TV watching is a very passive, low energy activity and is often accompanied by eating junk food, things that could be implicated in the TV health risks.

Grøntved A, Hu FB. “Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis.” JAMA. 2011 Jun 15;305(23):2448-55.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21673296

Hughes S. “Risk for Death, Diabetes, CVD Increases From Prolonged TV Watching.” Medscape, June 17, 2011.

 

 

 

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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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