Monday, December 20, 2010
Cancer Medicine may have cured severe swine influenza
The 31-year-old man nearly died of complications from the flu. Then the doctors dared to test everything, including that which could have contributed to his death. They gave him chemo, it may have been his salvation, writes "Your Medications".
The 31-year-old man had led many of the complications that can occur in association with an infection of swine influenza. Severe pneumonia, high fever, the effect on the kidneys, liver and both the blood system and lungs stopped working.
When doctors gave him a cocktail of immunosuppressive chemotherapy, known as a cytotoxic drug, and cortisone.
- What we once did not dare to think, to give chemotherapy to severely infected people may now be the opposite. That it may be what saves these patients, "said Professor Jan-Inge Henter, a professor at Karolinska Institutet and senior physician at Karolinska University Hospital, who was present at the decision for the patient, in an interview with the radio science, writing "Your Medications".
When the patient arrived at the Karolinska University Hospital where his condition seriously. The doctors did everything. He received the strongest form of antibiotics, the one to beat against all bacteria. The man was placed in the ECMO, a so-called means lung, and a machine took care of the heart. In addition to mechanical assistance and antibiotics he received antiviral treatment with oseltamivir in Tamiflu, a drug against swine flu.
The patient had fever and 40.3 in spite of intensive care did not improve lung function and both blood and liver function tests deteriorated. After weeks of heart-lung machine took doctors an unusual decision.
- We feared that the patient would not survive and was therefore ready to try the unconventional treatment that Professor Henter proposed. Together we discussed carefully reading internally and with relatives, and after careful consideration we decided to make this treatment trials, "says Kenneth Palmer, MD and Head for ECMO Department, in the press release from the Karolinska Institute.
Overactive immune system
The basis for the decision was a new hypothesis on the immune system, as Jan-Inge Henter launched. It is known that the immune system is important, but sometimes it seems that the immune system is killing some people. Phagocytes are a type of anvil cell that has the task of eating up the foreign particles in the blood, but sometimes they go out of control, the researchers have been able to show, and cleans away even important cells in the blood. The team believes, could indicate that the immune system is overactive.
Therefore, when they have done everything else, tried läkargruppen to give the patient a treatment consisting of chemotherapy and steroids.
Feel good today
After a few days saw the improvement and the patient is doing well today. Today läkargruppen, which was beyond the two already mentioned and Bernhard Holzgraefe, assistant chief of the ECMO department, shared his experiences in an article in the medical journal Lancet.
This may explain why young and healthy with strong immune systems were those who died of complications from previous epidemics of Spanish flu, "explains Jan-Inge Henter.