Talc Procedure for pleural effusion

I have a question. The talc procedure causes the body to produce 10 times the amount of endostatin that is normally produced by the body. Endostatin a naturally occurring hormone helps to cut off the blood supply to cancer tumors. Will the placement of talc in the body help to prevent other tumors that might occur in other parts of the body? Will endostatin also help fight individual cancer cells? thanks gene

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I don't know the answer to your question but I had the talc procedure and I've far outlived the prognosis. I wonder now if this may have been what God used to grant me all this "extra" time.

After reading your post I found an article about this. I'll cut and paste it here as this may be of interest to a number of our friends here.

=== quote from Medical News Today ===

Unexpected Consequences Of Talc Pleurodesis
posted by Gregory D. Pawelski on 07 Feb 2010 at 9:05 pm

University of Florida researchers reported that talc has the ability to stunt cancer growth by cutting the flow of blood to metastatic lung tumors. Their study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, revealed that talc stimulates healthy cells to produce endostatin, a hormone considered the magic bullet for treating metastatic lung cancer. The researchers say talc is an exciting new therapeutic agent for a cancer largely considered incurable.

Talc causes tumor growth to slow down and actually decreases the tumor bulk. Talc is able to prevent the formation of blood vessels, thereby killing the tumor and choking off its growth. The tumors appeared to grow much slower and in some cases completely disappeared.

Scientists have only recently discovered that talc stunts tumor growth, though the mineral has been used for almost 70 years to treat the respiratory problems that accompany metastatic lung cancer. about half of all patients accumulate fluid around the surface of the lungs, a condition known as malignant pleural effusion. That fluid can press down upon the lung, impair the breathing of the patient and cause the patient to feel very short of breath.

Pleural effusions indicate that the cancer, which might have started in the breast, lung, or gastrointestinal tract, has spread throughout the body. The prognosis for the roughly 200,000 patients afflicted with this condition is poor: Many die within six months.

To make life more bearable for these patients, doctors close the extra space between the lung and the chest wall, where the troublesome fluid collects. The trick is gluing the two surfaces together. Talc is blown into the patients' chest cavity to irritate the tissue and create tiny abrasions. When the lung tissue heals, it becomes permanently adhered to the chest wall without impairing the patients' breathing. The effects of the procedure, called medical thoracoscopy with talc pleurodesis, are immediate and last a lifetime.

The procedure has been used very extensively in Europe but it's had slower acceptance in the United States, perhaps because of the need to learn a new technology. The Food and Drug Administration approved talc for use in medical thoracoscopy in 2003, but UF is one of just a handful of U.S. institutions that perform the outpatient procedure on a routine basis.

Doctors have noticed that patients who undergo medical thoracoscopy with talc live up to 18 months longer than expected. The UF researchers were surprised to find that talc has added benefits besides causing scarring and taking away the fluid that surrounds the lung. The cells that cover the lining of the lung are stimulated by the presence of talc to produce a factor that inhibits the growth of blood vessels and kills the tumor cells themselves.

Less than one day after treatment with talc, patients began producing 10-fold higher levels of endostatin, a hormone released by healthy lung cells. Endostatin prevents new blood vessels from forming, slows cell growth and movement, and even induces nearby tumor cells to commit suicide. All of these make it hard for tumors to grow and spread into healthy lung tissue.

When endostatin was first discovered in 1997, doctors hoped its tumor-fighting properties would lead to a cure for cancer. But clinical trials have been disappointing, possibly because most clinicians have injected the hormone directly into patients. The hormone breaks down in the body before it has a chance to slow the spread of cancer.

What they've done is caused the normal pleural mesothelial cells to continue to produce endostatin. Talc doesn't go away. Talc stays in the chest cavity, constantly causing the normal cells to produce this factor that inhibits the growth of the tumor. The antitumor effects of talc appear to be long-lasting, and they are continuing to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients who have undergone talc pleurodesis.

I can understand the disbelief that endostatin clinical trials had been disappointing, possibly because most clinicians had injected the hormone directly into patients, where the hormone broke down in the body before it had a chance to slow the spread of cancer. But researchers like Dr. Veena Antony "rethought" the situation by understanding that by allowing talc in the chest cavity, thus constantly causing the normal cells to produce endostatin, may inhibit the growth of tumors.

Thanks to scientists like Dr. Antony that took the time to think through "whiz bang" science that often gets a pass without much thought. The problem is that few scientific discoveries work the way we think and few physicians/scientists take the time to think through what it is they're discovered. I genuinely believe that there is more to Talc than is commonly recognized. Perhaps because it is easily available and cheap, and it has not had the press it deserves.

SOURCE: University of Florida

=== end of quote ===


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thanks for the info. The article you posted is pretty interesting. This article is what I am basing my questions on. My wife, stage 3b, was never given any time limits. It has been almost two years and she is back up to around 100%.

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My wife's original ovarian cancer in 1972 was stage IV. She presented with DVT and pleural effusion showed malignant cells on thoracentesis. She had total abdominal hysterectomy and oral Chlorambucil (Leukeren) treatment. She had talc placed into the lung walls for her lungs to adhere to the lining and keep them from collapsing.

Twenty-four years later, she developed a metastatic transdiaphragmatic tumor from that original ovarian cancer with attachment to the lung and other midline structures of the chest. Parts of those structures were surgicall resected.

I remember the thoracic surgical oncologist telling me the talc oozed down to the bottom of the cavity and was as hard as rock. She had to literally use a hammer and chisle to clean it all out.

It seems that my wife's twenty-four years without any recurrence gives the talc endeavor some credence. The fact that she used Premarin for over twenty years seems to be more a factor a cause of her recurrence than anything else. Would she have gone twenty-four years after stage IV ovarian cancer without this talc?

The thoracic surgical oncologist and a number other thoracic surgeons have told me that they had pretty good results with talc over the years on patients with maligant effusions.

Dr. Antony told me that talc pleurodesis is not done for patients with lung cancer unless they have a pleural effusion. A malignant pleural effusion, whatever its cause (lung, breast, ovary, lymphoma, mesothelioma, etc.) can be treated (to stop the effusion from recurring) with talc.

It has been shown that talc inhibits "adherence independent growth" of tumors in vitro and in vivo. Talc kills the cancer cells and inhibits their growth by producing endostatin which kills off their feeder blood vessels.

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