Johns Hopkins’ study calls for broader use of HPV vaccines
BALTIMORE A call to explore a broader use of human papillomavirus vaccines and the validation of a simple oral screening test for HPV-caused oral cancers are reported in two studies by a Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigator, the medical center announced Nov. 3.
Leading HPV expert Maura Gillison, the first to identify HPV infection as the cause of certain oral cancers and who identified multiple sex partners as the most important risk factor for these cancers, reports her latest work in the Nov. 3 journal Clinical Cancer Research and in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monograph. The CDC report on HPV-associated cancers appears online Nov. 3 and in the Nov. 15 supplement edition of Cancer.
In the CDC report, Gillison found approximately 20,000 cases of cancer in the United States each year are caused by HPV infection. Oral cancers are the second most common type of HPV-associated cancers and are increasing in incidence in the United States, particularly among men. Add to that anal, penile, vaginal and vulvar cancers that also are linked to HPV infection, and Gillison says these cancers, when combined, equal the number of cervical cancers, the most common and well known of the cancers caused by HPV.
While about one-quarter of HPV-linked cancers occur in men, vaccines currently are approved only for use in girls and young women for cervical cancer prevention. “We need to have a more comprehensive discussion of the potential impact the HPV vaccine could have on cancer rates among men and women in this country,” commented Gillison, associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Currently available HPV vaccines have the potential to reduce the rates of HPV-associated cancers, like oral and anal cancers, that are currently on the rise and for which there no effective or widely-applied screening programs.” Gillison noted, however, that studies are needed to confirm that the vaccine effectively prevents HPV infections that lead to oral and anal cancers.
FDA announces recall of Tyco ReliOn single-use syringes
ROCKVILLE, Md. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that Tyco Healthcare Group is recalling a lot of its ReliOn single-use syringes for diabetics.
The recall affects lot number 813900, which contines 100 31-gauge ReliOn hypodermic syringes containing 1 milliliter of U-100 insulin. Tyco distributed 4,710 boxes in the recalled lot, totaling 471,000 individual syringes. Wal-Mart sold the syringes at its stores between Aug. 1 and Oct. 8, and Tyco voluntarily recalled the lot Oct. 9. Wal-Mart has sent letters to 16,500 customers notifying them of the recall and posted an announcement on its Web site.
Can-Am Care distributes the syringes and sells them through Wal-Mart and Sam?s Club stores under the Reli-On brand. The mass-merchandiser has requested that all users of this type of syringe return those that come from the recalled lot.
The FDA said that during the packaging of the syringes, some syringes labeled for use with U-40 insulin were mixed with syringes labeled for use with U-100 insulin and then packaged individually and in boxes as 100 units for use with U-100 insulin. Tyco has received one report of complications due to use of a syringe from the recalled lot.
Medical information leaks prompt added awareness about records security
CHICAGO News reports about high-profile victims of personal medical information security and privacy breaches highlight the need to educate and inform healthcare professionals, their employees, the media and consumers on privacy protection, an professional organization for the health information management industry said Thursday.
The American Health Information Management Association said that educating healthcare professionals on privacy and security issues is an ongoing concern within the health information industry.
“It’s critical for healthcare professionals to receive more education about good privacy practices and appropriate interpretation of HIPAA and other regulations,” AHIMA president Wendy Mangin said.