What’s the Problem?
Exposure to Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup has been linked to an increased risk for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a life-threatening blood cancer that begins in the lymph glands. Lawsuits are now being filed against Monsanto for failing to adequately warn of the cancer risk with Roundup.
Meta-Analyses Finds Link Between Glyphosate And Lymph Tissue Cancers
A series of meta-analyses published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April 2014 found that the glyphosate contained in Roundup is a probable cause of blood cancers in the lymph glands, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The review looked at 30 years of epidemiologic research on the link between cancer and exposure to agricultural pesticides.
The researchers analyzed results from 44 academic papers, which found an association between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 21 pesticide chemical groups containing 80 active ingredients. The meta-analyses determined that phenoxy herbicides, carbamate insecticides, organophosphorus insecticides and the active ingredient lindane, an organochlorine insecticide, were positively associated with NHL.
“In a handful of papers, associations between pesticides and NHL subtypes were reported,” the researchers concluded. “B cell lymphoma was positively associated with phenoxy herbicides and the organophosphorus herbicide glyphosate.”
What is Diffuse Large B-Cell lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. The disease occurs when lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) start to divide and grow out of control. There are two main types of lymphocytes — B lymphocytes (B cells) and T lymphocytes (T cells). Lymphoma can develop from either of these cells, but most forms of the disease occur from B cells.
Lymphomas are divided into two groups, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which manifest differently and need different types of treatment. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of high-grade (fast-growing) non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Specific features of DLBCL include:
- It develops from abnormal B cells
- The abnormal cells are larger than normal, healthy B cells
- The abnormal cells are spread diffusely throughout the tumor and wipe out the normal structure of the lymph node
Subtypes of B-Cell Lymphoma
There are more than a dozen subtypes of B-cell lymphoma that are classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which may be associated with exposure to glyphosate in Roundup herbicide. These include:
- Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma
- Follicular Lymphoma
- Cutaneous B Cell Lymphoma
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma
- Marginal Zone B Cell Lymphoma
- Burkitt Lymphoma
- Hairy Cell Leukemia
Symptoms of Diffuse Large B-Cell lymphoma
- Swollen lymph nodes (glands)
- Abdominal swelling and discomfort
- Feeling generally unwell (malaise)
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a fast-growing, extremely aggressive form of cancer. The disease is fatal if left untreated; however, with timely and appropriate treatment, approximately 70% of all patients can be cured.
Most patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma can be cured with standard rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (R-CHOP) treatment. However, patients who do not respond to this regimen typically have a poor outcome. For this reason, optimization of front-line therapy and the development of more effective salvage strategies are an important objective.
Lawsuit Alleges Roundup Caused Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
In September 2016, a man who allegedly developed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma after using Roundup weed killer filed a products liability lawsuit against Monsanto in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois (Case No. 3:16-cv-01042). According to the complaint, Plaintiff Charles Cushman began using Roundup for both agricultural and residential use in the mid 1980s, and as a result of his continuous exposure to the herbicide, he developed diffuse large B-Cell lymphoma in 2008.
Cushman alleges that Monsanto knew or should have known that Roundup could cause cancer, yet failed to adequately warn consumers of this risk.
“Rather than performing appropriate tests, Defendant relied upon flawed industry-supported studies designed to protect Defendant’s economic interest rather than Plaintiff and the consuming public,” the lawsuit states. “Despite its knowledge that Roundup was considerably more dangerous than glyphosate alone, Defendant continued to promote Roundup as safe.”
Plaintiff is bringing claims of defective design, failure to warn, negligence and breach of implied warranties against Monsanto, and is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.
FREE Confidential Case Review
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with diffuse large B-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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