In 2004, Dr. Mark Williams and his colleagues from Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, and Health Process Management, LLC, Pennsylvania analyzed hospitalizations from 1999 across six US states and discovered that ”severe sepsis is a common, deadly, and costly complication in cancer patients. This complication was associated with nearly a three-fold increase in the time spent in hospital. We estimate that the annual hospital costs for these patients exceed US $3 billion annually.” They discovered that “almost 5% of the cancer patients that were hospitalized in the six states were found to have severe sepsis. When extrapolated to the rest of the USA, this corresponds to around 126,000 cases every year.” Hospitalized cancer patients with severe sepsis were more than five times more likely to die than cancer patients who were not severely septic. 37.8% of patients with cancer and severe sepsis died in the hospital in comparison to just 7.2% of cancer patients without severe sepsis. This corresponds to the death of around 46,700 patients every year. ”Our study demonstrates the devastating complication of severe infections in cancer patients. Improvement in infection control, such as early appropriate antibiotics, in this population could have a significant impact on overall cancer survival,” said Williams. Read the full article on Science Blog and the study on Critical Care . In addition to using antibiotics and other supportive care measures, another promising approach to fight sepsis is the reduction of “cytokine storm” and the removal of other toxic substances from the blood that can cause multiple organ failure – the leading cause of death in the ICU from sepsis and other critical care illnesses. CytoSorbents Corporation (OTCBB: CTSO) , a critical care-focused therapeutic device company, is working on this type of blood purification technology. The company’s flagship product, CytoSorb, is an extracorporeal cytokine filter that uses biocompatible, highly porous polymer beads to actively remove toxic substances from blood and other bodily fluids. It recently achieved European regulatory approval and can now be sold throughout the European Union (E.U.) under the CE Mark to be used in cases where cytokines are elevated. Read more about CytoSorbents and its blood purification technology .
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Severe sepsis causes almost 10% of cancer deaths; $CTSO