[ Inglés] Can Exposure to Chemicals Cause MPNs?

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Topics include: Understanding

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, Dr. Ross Levine from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discusses chemical exposure as a potential cause of MPNs. Dr. Levine shares what researchers have learned about Agent Orange and the Superfund site in Pennsylvania.

Sponsored by The Patient Empowerment Network, which received an educational grant from Incyte Corporation.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Dr. Levine:

So one question is has Agent Orange or any other chemical stimulus ever been linked to myeloproliferative neoplasms?  The short answer is that there is some suggestion that certain chemical exposures can actually increase the risk of myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Particularly, there's an area in Pennsylvania near what's called the Superfund site where there's a much higher incidence of polycythemia vera than we expect that would occur based on normal population predictions.  However, we don't know which agents do it or why most patients even in those areas don't develop it.

There may actually even be a risk with some of the different chemicals like Agent Orange, which people were exposed to during the war. But the challenge is that the risk of developing these diseases even for people exposed is low and much lower than many of the other health problems that these patients get into when they get chemical exposures.

So I think it's the kind of thing that we need better and more rigorous data, but one can't say with certainty that it's not involved.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on October 23, 2014