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Posts Tagged ‘Journal of Clinical Oncology’

PROSTABLOG NZ: An insecticide used in New Zealand to control an apple pest during the 60s and early 70s may have greatly increased prostate cancer risk.

The insecticide – an organochlorine marketed under the name Kepone – caused such widespread environmental damage the US maker stopped production in 1976 and the World Health Organisation later banned it.

Researchers have now found evidence its widespread use to control a banana plant pest in the French West Indies for 30 years significantly raised the incidence of prostate cancer among men there.

A suggestion the chemical (first produced in 1958) might be dangerous came in 1964 when two New Zealand agricultural scientists, H.V. Brewerton and D.A. Slade, published the first findings about Kepone’s ability to remain in edible plants.

They analysed Nelson-produced apples that had been sprayed for leaf roller as many as 13 times during growth. The apples showed heavy residues of spray on skin and in the pulp.

At present, no tolerance has been established for “Kepone”, and owing to the evident high persistence of the chemical, its use cannot at present be suggested even in the early season.

However, a 1.5 parts per million tolerance would enable “Kepone” to be used on Sturmer apples up to the end of December, and under New Zealand conditions this would make a worthwhile contribution to the control of leaf roller.

In 1975, workers at the factory making the insecticide in the US were found to be suffering a mystery illness and their town was found to be heavily contaminated.

Later research in the 70s and early 80s found the chemical in Kepone, chlordecone, caused illnesses, including cancer, and infertility.

French scientists recently published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, after testing the blood of 623 French West Indian men who suffered prostate cancer and comparing them with a random sample of 671 males:

We found a significant increase in the risk of prostate cancer with increasing plasma (blood) chlordecone concentration…

…Stronger associations were observed among those with a positive family history of prostate cancer and among those who had lived in a Western country.

…Also, a significantly higher risk existed for patients older than 60 years compared to younger than 60 years.

…These findings support the hypothesis that exposure to environmental estrogens increases the risk of prostate cancer.

Chlordecone was used between 1973 and 1993 in the French West Indies as an insecticide in banana plants.

It caused widespread contamination of soil, water, animals and vegetables.

Chlordecone does not undergo significant degradation, so polluted sources continue to contaminate foodstuffs which remain the primary means of human exposure to this chemical.

Chlordecone is a known carcinogen in laboratory models and its hormonal properties and long half-life increase the possibility of acting as a carcinogen.

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MODERN MEDICINE: Some men with prostate cancer may safely defer treatment for years without a higher risk of metastasis or cancer mortality than those who receive initial treatment. This, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which also says it may not apply to younger men and those with high PSA. READ MORE>

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JULY 29: GARY SCHWITZER BLOG: There’s a very important study published in the July 27 Journal of Clinical Oncology – but if you read different news stories – or at least their headlines – you’d never know they were all about the same study. READ MORE>

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JULY 28: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY: Few patients will die from prostate cancer within 15 years of radical prostatectomy, despite the presence of adverse clinical features, according to a new study of 13,000 US men. READ MORE>

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JUNE 27: CANCEROLOGY.BLOGSPOT.COM: There is now additional evidence that supports the use of adjuvant radiation in men with prostate cancer who have undergone radical prostatectomy and have pathologic stage T3 disease, according to an editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. READ MORE>

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MAY 28: NEW JERSEY BUSINESS NEWS: Cougar Biotechnology, the developer of cancer medicines that Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy last week, said its lead experimental drug worked against prostate tumours in a company-sponsored study. READ MORE>

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MAY 21: CANCER CONSULTANTS.COM:  Among men treated with radical prostatectomy and found to have pT3 prostate cancer (cancer that extends beyond the prostate capsule), adjuvant (followup) treatment with radiation therapy reduces the risk of post-treatment PSA increase, according to the results of a Phase III clinical trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. READ MORE>

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