What’s the Problem?
Side effects of Roundup herbicide may include anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare but extremely aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that begins in cells of the immune system. Lawsuits are being filed against Monsanto for downplaying and even hiding evidence linking Roundup to cancer.
Glyphosate Toxicity Doubles Risk of Cancer: Study
In April 2014, a study published by scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed a link between exposure to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, and an increased risk for lymphomas. The scientists looked at 44 individual research projects published since 1980, and determined that glyphosate toxicity doubled the risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The researchers concluded by theorizing that glyphosate causes genetic mutations in white blood cells, thereby weakening the body’s immune system and ability to fight off disease.
What is Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of T–cell lymphoma that accounts for only about 3% of all lymphomas diagnosed in adults, and between 10% and 30% of all lymphomas in children. The cells that characterize the disease have a uniform expression of a special marker called CD30. ALCL arises from T-cell type lymphocytes and is considered to be an aggressive lymphoma, so immediate treatment is required upon diagnosis. Without treatment the disease may progress quickly.
Types of ALCL
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma occurs in two forms – systemic ALCL, which is aggressive and can affect all organs in the body, and primary cutaneous ALCL, which is confined to the skin and tends to be slow-growing (indolent).
There are also two subtypes of ALCL – ALK-negative and ALK-positive, depending on whether the lymphoma cells manufacture a protein called ‘anaplastic large cell kinase’ (ALK). Patients with ALK-positive ALCL are typically younger and respond more favorably to treatment than patients with ALK-negative ALCL.
Signs and symptoms of anaplastic large cell lymphoma include:
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
Systemic ALCL is generally treated with the chemotherapy regimen CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone). Other treatments may include radiotherapy, stem cell transplants and steroid therapy.
People with ALK-positive ALCL typically respond favorably to chemotherapy. Primary cutaneous ALCL may go into spontaneous remission; however, this is inevitably followed by a relapse. If no spontaneous remission occurs, or if the lymphoma relapses, the most commonly used treatments for ALK-positive ALCL include radiation therapy and/or surgery to remove the affected area of skin.
Prognosis (Outlook) and Survival Rates
Many patients with newly diagnosed systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma respond well to common first-line chemotherapy regimens such as CHOP, although long-term disease outcomes vary depending on the subtype and other factors. Patients with ALK-positive disease usually respond very well to CHOP or CHOEP (CHOP plus etoposide). In contrast, patients who are ALK-negative have slightly lower survival rates with similar treatments. In some cases, higher doses of chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplantation may be advised.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Monsanto in California
In May 2016, the widow of a California farmer filed a wrongful death lawsuit (Case 2:16-cv-01609) against Monsanto alleging that the company knowingly downplayed the cancer risk with Roundup. According to the complaint, Jack McCall was admitted to a hospital with swollen lymph nodes in his neck in September 2015. He was subsequently diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma and died after having a stroke on Christmas Eve. The lawsuit seeks wrongful death and punitive damages, alleging that Monsanto designed a dangerous and defective product, committed gross negligence, and defrauded millions of farmers about the safety of Roundup.
FREE Confidential Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma after using or being exposed to Roundup weed killer, you may be eligible to obtain compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help. Contact a Roundup attorney today for a Free Confidential Case Evaluation by filling out the form below or calling toll free 24/hrs a day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
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