April 2011 MedPageToday.com reports on American Association for Cancer Research-presented abstract "Talc Use Linked to Ovarian Cancer Risk". See article and Ann Fonfa (president, Annie Appleseed Project's) remarks below.
Br J Surg 2001 Sep;88(9):1258-63
Glove powder promotes adhesion formation and facilitates tumour cell adhesion and growth.
van den Tol MP, Haverlag R, van Rossen ME, Bonthuis F, Marquet RL, Jeekel J.
Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Dijkzigt, Dr Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
BACKGROUND: The presence of foreign material in the abdominal cavity irritates the peritoneal surface, leading to an inflammatory response. This defensive mechanism can provoke adhesion formation. The same peritoneal defence cascade is thought to play a role in the process of intra-abdominal tumour recurrence.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether glove powder produced peritoneal adhesions in a rat adhesion model and whether it promoted intra-abdominal tumour recurrence in a rat tumour cell adhesion and growth model.
METHODS: A reproducible model that allowed semiquantitative scoring of adhesion formation or tumour load was used in three different groups of rats. One group was treated by intra-abdominal application of powder obtained from starch-powdered gloves, one by application of pure starch and in one group no powder was used.
RESULTS: Application of glove powder or pure starch on minimally and severely traumatized peritoneum gave rise to significantly greater adhesion formation and intra-abdominal tumour load than peritoneal trauma alone (both P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Starch-induced peritoneal trauma leads not only to more adhesion formation but also to increased adhesion and growth of tumour cells. Since good powder-free alternatives are available there is no longer any justification for the use of powdered gloves during intra-abdominal surgery.
Ann's NOTE: We discussed the idea that talcum powder was a possible factor in ovarian cancer, at SHARE (a NYC self-help group for women with breast or ovarian cancer), many years ago.
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