Health Highlights: Jan. 13, 2012
Metal Tissue Holders May be Radioactive Lymphoma Drug Adcetris Gets New Warning About Brain Infection U.S. Man Receives Synthetic Windpipe State Governors Urged to Support Concussion Laws Study Links Processed Meat With Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Metal Tissue Holders May be Radioactive
Federal officials say metal tissue holders with low levels of radioactive material may have been shipped to Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in more than 20 states.
The Dual Ridge Metal boutique tissue holders have been carried in about 200 of the stores since July. The holders have been pulled from the stores and customers who bought them should return them for a full refund, the company said in a statement Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
The products pose little to no risk to humans, but it's better for people to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation, said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre.
He said a person who spent about 30 minutes a day near one of the tissue holders would receive the equivalent of a couple of x-rays, the AP reported.
Lymphoma Drug Adcetris Gets New Warning About Brain Infection
Two additional cases of a rare but serious brain infection have led to a new boxed warning on the lymphoma drug Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
Adcetris is used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and a rare lymphoma called systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma. When the FDA approved Adcetris in August 2011, one case of the potentially deadly brain infection progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) was described in the Warnings and Precautions section of the drug's label.
Along with the new boxed warning about the risks of PML, the drug will also carry a new contraindication warning against the use of Adcetris with the cancer drug bleomycin due to increased risk of pulmonary (lung) toxicity, the FDA said.
Signs and symptoms of PML can develop over several weeks or months and may include mood changes, unusual behavior, confusion, memory loss, thinking problems, weakness on one side of the body, and changes in vision, speech or walking.
Patients who develop any signs or symptoms of PML should immediately notify their doctor, the FDA said.
U.S. Man Receives Synthetic Windpipe
An American man is doing well after receiving a synthetic windpipe (trachea) that was created in a laboratory.
Christopher Lyles, 30, of Baltimore had a type of tracheal cancer that is normally considered inoperable, The New York Times reported.
In November, Swedish surgeons removed the tumor and replaced Lyles' trachea with the new one made from nano-sized plastic fibers and covered in stem cells taken from his bone marrow. Lyles arrived back home Wednesday.
"He went home in very good shape," said Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, director of the Advanced Center for Translational Regenerative Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, The Times reported.
Lyles is only the second person, and the first American, to undergo this kind of procedure.
State Governors Urged to Support Concussion Laws
The governors of Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and 16 other states are being urged by NFL and NCAA leaders to support legislation meant to reduce concussions in young football players.
In letters sent Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NCAA President Mark Emmert urged the governors to follow the example of a Washington state law that requires a player who shows signs of a concussion to be removed from a game or practice, the Associated Press reported.
The law also forbids players from competing again until they're cleared by a licensed health care professional trained in concussion assessment and management.
Currently, 31 states and Washington, D.C. have such laws, the AP reported.
Study Links Processed Meat With Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
Eating processed meat such as sausages or bacon increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.
Swedish researchers analyzed data from 11 clinical trials and 6,643 pancreatic cancer patients, BBC News reported.
They concluded that the risk of pancreatic cancer increases by 19 percent for every 50 grams of processed meat a person adds to their daily diet. Consuming an extra 100 grams per day would boost the risk by 38 percent.
The study appears in the British Journal of Cancer.
Previous research has linked consumption of red and processed meat with colorectal cancer.