PDSA E-News: April 29, 2015



ITP Conference 2015 - Nashville!

Gaylord Opryland

Conference Registration is open.  Rooms are going fast!  Don’t miss out!

12 of the world’s top ITP experts will present programs at ITP Conference 2015.
See more about this year's speakers and all of the conference information here:





Caffeic Acid Found Effective in Raising Platelet Counts in ITP Patients

Caffeic AcidA multicenter clinical trial that used oral caffeic acid to treat 103 ITP patients in China found it raised platelet counts. Caffeic acid (not to be confused with caffeine) is a major phenolic compound found in coffee and other plants and foods, such as green tea extract, wine, celery, dates, prunes, cinnamon, and many herbs. This study was to determine the efficacy and safety of oral caffeic acid (CA) tablets in managing primary immune thrombocytopenia. Patients (ages 18 – 84) were divided into Group A (51 patients with platelet counts less than 30,000) and Group B (52 patients with platelet counts of 30,000 or higher). Both groups took CA tablets orally (300 mg) three times per day for 12 consecutive weeks. Other treatments that might increase platelet counts, such steroids, TPO, and rituximab were not allowed.

Group A had a 51% response rate with a median platelet count of 63,000. Average time to response was 4 weeks (range 2-10 weeks). Group B had a response rate of 40.4%. Patients who started with platelet counts above 20,000 had a significantly better response than those with less than 20,000. Researchers concluded caffeic acid was effective in ITP patients and had few and mild adverse effects. Caffeic acid is an antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, which may be beneficial for patients with autoimmune disorders like ITP.

Qin P, Wei Y, Hou M, Zhao C and Shen Z. “A Multicenter Clinical Trial of Caffeic Acid Tablet in Treatment of 103 Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia Patients.” Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi, 2015 Feb 14; 36(2): 103-6 (Article in Chinese).


C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Related to Platelet Destruction in ITP

Researchers have found another link between ITP and inflammation: C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein is created in response to inflammation in the body and it has now been linked to platelet destruction in people with ITP. In one test, researchers found that children with ITP who had higher levels of C-reactive protein had more bleeding symptoms and a lower platelet count. In a follow-up clinical trial with children newly diagnosed with ITP, researchers found that patients with higher CRP levels at diagnosis took longer to normalize their platelet counts after three months. This finding might be used to determine which children with newly diagnosed ITP will need treatment.

Semple, J. “C-Reactive Protein Boosts Antibody-mediated Platelet Destruction.” Blood, 2015 Mar 12; 125 (11):1690-1.


Is Your Current ITP Treatment Working for You?

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. logoRigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. is conducting a Phase 3 clinical study with fostamatinib, an investigational drug for the treatment of patients with persistent or chronic ITP. If you are 18 years of age or older, have had a diagnosis of ITP for at least 3 months, and have previously received at least 1 typical regimen for the treatment of ITP — you may be eligible. There are a number of clinical trial sites already open in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

For a complete site list, please visit - http://tinyurl.com/RigelPhase3ITP.




Is Your Hospital One of America’s Best Hospitals?

Mayo Clinic in RochesterThe publication U.S. News Best Hospitals 2014-15 ranks the top U.S. hospitals. With data from about 5,000 hospitals and survey results from over 9,500 physicians U.S. News ranked the best centers in 16 adult specialties. Some factors considered included death rates, patient safety, and hospital reputation. They found only 144 hospitals were nationally ranked in a specialty. The 17 Best Hospitals had highest scores in at least six specialties. The adult specialties ranked included: Cancer; Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Diabetes & Endocrinology; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery; Geriatrics; Gynecology; Nephrology; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Ophthalmology; Orthopedics; Psychiatry; Pulmonology; Rehabilitation; Rheumatology; and Urology.

ITP Patients may be interested in the best Oncology hospitals. Hematology and Oncology are usually in the same hospital specialty. Some of the top 25 hospitals included: Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore), University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland), Duke University Hospital (Durham, NC), and USC Norris Cancer Hospital-Keck Medical Center of USC (Los Angeles). Many of these are also the locations of PDSA’s outstanding Medical Advisors.

For the 2014-15 rankings, they also surveyed 183 pediatric centers to obtain clinical data in 10 specialties. They asked 150 pediatric specialists in each specialty where they would send the sickest children. Eighty-nine hospitals ranked in at least one specialty. For more details about all the hospitals, visit the link:




Another Important Reason to Eat Your Spinach

SpinachPeople with ITP already know Vitamin K is important for healthy platelets. Now there’s another important reason to eat your spinach and kale: it makes your brain younger. Researchers at Rush University found that consuming one daily serving of spinach or other leafy greens (kale, broccoli, collards, mustard greens, etc.) may help slow the process of age-related cognitive decline. The researchers analyzed the diets and mental functions of 954 elderly people (average age 81) over a five-year period. They found those who had included more greens in their diets were more likely to be mentally sharp. In fact, people who ate one to two daily servings of green leafy vegetables had cognitive abilities of someone 11 years younger. Although other studies have found that both folate (folic acid) and beta-carotene help the brain this study was the first to look at Vitamin K in relation to changes in cognitive abilities over time.

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). "Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp." ScienceDaily, 30 March 2015.




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 May 9, 2015: Phoenix, AZ
May 14, 2015: Cleveland, OH
May 16, 2015: Central/North, NJ
May 16, 2015: Milwaukee, WI

June 3, 2015: ITP Parents Teleconference
June 13: Atlanta, GA
June 13: Nashville, TN
June 27: Sacramento, CA





Pump it Up for Platelets
May 17, 2015: Women in the Wind Fundraiser
May 30, 2015: 
Ames, IA
September 19, 2015: Chicago, IL
September 27, 2015: Everett, WA
November 21, 2015: Pedal for Platelets El Tour de Tucson, AZ
TBD: Cleveland, OH





ITP Poke-R Club
The ITP Poke-R Club is for children and adolescents with ITP in the US who are paid members of PDSA. Parents can request a Poke-R Club kit for their child.




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