Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Evidence for an increased cancer risk following the use of radioactive Radium-224 in the therapy for Ankylosing Spondylitis

24.06.2008
In the course of an epidemiological study, scientists of the Institute of Radiation Biology of the Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health – have established an unfavourable benefit-risk-ratio for ankylosing spondylitis patients treated with Radium-224 therapy (Rheumatology 2008; 47: 855-59).

Ankylosing Spondylitis (Bechterew’s Disease) is a painful chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease, associated with stiffening of the vertrebral column. Between 100,000 and 150,000 cases have already been diagnosed in Germany, but milder forms of the disease may remain undiagnosed.

The research team, led by Dr. Roland R. Wick, with Dr. Elke A. Nekolla, Prof. Dr. Albrecht M. Kellerer and the late Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gössner have conducted a long-term follow-up study of 1,471 ankylosing spondylitis patients, whose disease symptoms were treated with repeated intravenous injections of 224Radium. A control cohort of 1,324 ankylosing spondylitis patients treated without the use of radioactive compounds and/or X-rays were also studied.

In the current publication an elevated rate of leukaemias was seen, a malignant disease of the haematopoietic system: In all, 19 observed cases of leukaemia were documented compared with 6.8 cases that would be expected in an age- and gender-matched cohort of a normal population. In particular, the incidence of acute myeloid leukaemia was significantly increased with 7.0 cases compared with 1.8 cases expected in a “normal” population.

Furthermore, four additional cases of preleukaemic diseases of the bone marrow were present in the exposed group and no cases in the control group. The frequency of leukaemia was not increased significantly in the control group compared with the expected value for a normal population.

“It is rather unlikely that impurities present in the radium preparations used before 1950 are responsible for the elevated appearance of myeloproliferative diseases in the exposed group observed here,” commented Dr. Roland R. Wick. “In addition, the increased incidence of leukaemia is in line with experimental observations involving the treatment of animals with similar alpha emitting radioisotopes.”

The results of these studies by the Helmholtz Zentrum München have contributed decisively to 224Radium preparations being declared obsolete and have resulted in the revocation of the licensing of SpondylAT ® by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and the decision by the licence holders to discontinue development of the treatment. In earlier legal proceedings the Cologne Administrative Court, in its decision of October 26th, 2006, came to the conclusion that the "increase of myeloid leukaemia […] could be explained causally with the deposition of radium as a calcium-like element into the bone“, because, due to its short half-life of only 3.66 days, the radiation released from 224Radium has its effect mainly at the bone surface in the proximity of the blood-forming bone marrow cells.

Although previous studies have shown that radium treatment has an analgesic effect the risks of 224Radium treatment exceed its benefit, particularly, since there are many other therapeutic options available. Accordingly, the Committee for Quality Assurance of the German Society for Rheumatology no longer include this therapy in its recommendations.

Michael van den Heuvel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/press/press/press-releases-2008/press-releases-2008-detail/article/10223/9/index.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study suggests oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>