Re: [MOL] Subject: Drug for Iron Overload Passes Major Safety Hurdle.... [00816] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Subject: Drug for Iron Overload Passes Major Safety Hurdle....



Marty:  Really appreciate this article for several reasons.  I knew there
was a drug for serious iron loads; but they do not give this drug to a child
under four year's of age; however I could not remember the name of it for
the life of me.  Usually children are discovered with it after a parent has
serious complications; so I will pat myself on the back for being so
observing and pushing the issue.  Thanks for the great article.
Warmly, lillian

We invite you to take a look at our Album.
www.angelfire.com/sc/molangels/index.html

  ( Very informational, good tips, Molers pictures, art work and much
more....

----- Original Message -----
From: Martin Auslander <fitecancer@earthlink.net>
To: Medical On Line Forum <mol-cancer@lists.meds.com>; Lillian
<firefly@islc.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2000 6:56 AM
Subject: [MOL] Subject: Drug for Iron Overload Passes Major Safety
Hurdle....


> Good Morning All and our angel Lil,
>
> Was thinking about Lils Grandbaby and saw this message about Iron
> Overload and wondered if Lil posted this and knew about this. She is so
> up on things and probably this is something that she knew, but maybe
> didnt. Hope this info is beneficial.
>
> Subject: Drug for Iron Overload Passes Major Safety Hurdle....
>
> Drug for Iron Overload Passes Major Safety Hurdle, May Benefit Patients
> With
> Thalassemia and Other Blood Disorders, According to Researchers At The
> Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
>
> PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- An oral medication that may be
> helpful
> for patients with thalassemia and related blood disorders has fewer
> adverse
> effects on white blood cells than previously predicted.  The drug,
> deferiprone, may help patients with thalassemia who do not benefit from
> the
> conventional treatment for iron overload, a life-threatening
> complication of
> their disease.  A research team headed by a physician from The
> Children's
> Hospital of Philadelphia announced the results of their multicenter
> study
> today in the British Journal of Haematology.
>
> Thalassemia, an inherited disease of the blood in which hemoglobin fails
> to
> form properly, may be challenging to treat.  Depending on its severity,
> the
> disease may require regular blood transfusions starting in early
> childhood
> and may cause an enlarged spleen, bone weakness and growth problems.
> The
> blood transfusions lead to the most serious complication,
> life-threatening
> multiple organ damage caused by accumulation of excessive iron.
> Therefore,
> patients with iron overload receive frequent treatments with
> desferrioxamine,
> which removes iron from the tissues.  However, this drug is difficult to
> administer, because it must be pumped into the skin or bloodstream for
> an
> 8-to-12-hour period every night.  Many patients do not comply with the
> arduous regimen, and others are unable to use it because of adverse
> reactions.
>
> Therefore, for the past 20 years, researchers have been seeking an
> effective
> oral medicine for iron overload.  The leading candidate has been
> deferiprone,
> but previous studies showed the medicine had a serious side effect
> called
> agranulocytosis, a sharp reduction in white blood cells.  The current
> study
> measured the frequency of that side effect in 187 pediatric and adult
> patients at four sites, one at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
> and
> the other three at thalassemia centers in Italy.  The patients were
> unable or
> unwilling to use desferrioxamine.
>
> Patients in the study received weekly blood tests to monitor
> deferiprone's
> effects.  Agranulocytosis occurred in only one patient, while nine
> patients
> had a milder reduction in white blood cells (neutropenia).  "The study
> showed
> that toxicity to white blood cells is a rare side effect of deferiprone,
> and
> is not frequent enough to disqualify the drug as a potential treatment
> for
> iron overload," said Alan R. Cohen, M.D., chief of Hematology at The
> Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of the study.
> "Although
> much research remains to be done, deferiprone might also be used to
> treat
> patients with other hemoglobin disorders, such as sickle cell disease,
> in
> which regular blood transfusions are often used."
>
> Dr. Cohen added that since the study began, other possible side effects
> of
> deferiprone have been suggested, such as liver toxicity, and that
> further
> studies need to address such concerns.  Like desferrioxamine,
> deferiprone is
> an iron chelator -- a chemical that binds to excess iron and removes it
> from
> the body.  "We are not proposing that deferiprone should replace
> desferrioxamine as a first-line therapy for iron overload," he said.
> "But it
> may become an option for patients who do not respond to desferrioxamine
> or
> who have severe adverse reactions to that conventional therapy."
>
> The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first children's
> hospital, is a leader in patient care, education and research.  This
> 373-bed
> multispecialty hospital provides comprehensive pediatric services,
> including
> home care, to children from before birth through age 19.  The hospital
> is
> second in the United States among all children's hospitals in total
> research
> funding from the National Institutes of Health.
>
> CONTACT:  Maria Stearns of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,
> 215-590-4091, or Stearnsm@email.chop.edu
>
>  SOURCE  The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
>
> ------------------------------
> God Bless All,
> marty auslander
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