Research Verifies Claims by Baby Powder Cancer Attorneys
New Study Explains Talcum Powder Effects on Cellular Level
Sunday, June 30, 2019 - The first litigation linking talcum powder use for feminine hygiene to cancer was filed in the early 2000s, and the first successful case was won in South Dakota in 2013. Since then, baby powder cancer attorneys have achieved big verdicts for dozens of women around the country in talc cases. All along, the litigation has relied on testimony given by expert witnesses and research showing a causal link between talc use and ovarian cancer. A new study, published in the medical journal Reproductive Sciences in February of 2019, explains precisely how talc particles make cancer cells more likely to grow and proliferate.
Use of baby powder for feminine hygiene has been a widespread practice in the United States for decades. Originally designed for use on babies and by midwives, the soft powder with a distinctive fresh smell quickly became popular among women. Over the decades, millions of women have made a daily practice of sprinkling their genital area with talcum powder, and J&J marketing has consistently reinforced the idea of this product as safe and reliable for the whole family.
The first inkling that talcum powder may be linked to ovarian cancer came in the early 1970s when talc particles were detected in cancerous ovarian tissues. Over the past four decades, numerous peer-reviewed studies have determined that women who use baby powder regularly face a 33-40% increase in cancer risk than women who don't use the substance on their perineal region.
From the beginning, baby powder cancer attorneys have relied on explanations posited by Harvard's Dr. Daniel Cramer, among a handful of other clinicians. Essentially, they explained that talc particles are not easily absorbed or broken down in the body, but instead can remain intact for decades. Entering the body through the vagina, talc particles migrate through the feminine reproductive system and come to rest in the ovaries. Here, over time, the particles yield inflammation--a known risk factor for cell proliferation and thus cancer.
What was not known was exactly what effect talc particles have on ovarian tissues at a cellular level. The 2019 study, entitled,
"Molecular Basis Supporting the Association of Talcum Powder Use With Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer" finally explains the mode by which talc particles cause gene mutations that result in the proliferation of epitheal ovarian cancer cells. This groundbreaking study was authored by researchers from Wayne State University's School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, both in Detroit.
In explaining what they had found, the researchers wrote, "talc exposure induced specific point mutations that are known to alter the activity in some of these key enzymes". This scientific lingo explains the mechanism that causes gene mutations and inflammation, establishing a favorable environment for the proliferation of cancer and thus an increased chance of developing ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. According to the researchers, "These findings are the first to confirm the cellular effect of talc and provide a molecular mechanism to previous reports linking genital use to increased ovarian cancer risk".
"These findings are the first to confirm the cellular effect of talc and provide a molecular mechanism to previous reports linking genital use to increased ovarian cancer risk."
Finally offering a substantial explanation for a claim made by baby powder cancer attorneys over the past decade, this study may serve to expedite the resolution of the estimated 14,000 cases still pending against Johnson & Johnson.
Source: Molecular Basis Supporting the Association of Talcum Powder Use With Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer. Nicole M. Fletcher, PhD, Amy K. Harper, MD, Ira Memaj, BS, Rong Fan, MS, Robert T. Morris, MD, Ghassan M. Saed, PhD. Reproductive Sciences, Published February 28, 2019.