• Kyodo

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A patient at Kyushu University Hospital in Fukuoka who died in March was administered the wrong medicine by a nurse during treatment in August last year, hospital officials said Thursday.

In a news conference Thursday, the officials admitted to the mixup but stressed that the man’s death was “not related to that.”

The man, in his 50s, was first admitted to the state-run hospital in December 1998 to undergo treatment for a blood cell disorder, according to the officials.

After receiving a bone marrow transplant from a relative, he had to be given an antiviral drug in August last year because of the emergence of herpes zoster, officials said.

However, on Aug. 26, 1999, a nurse accidentally gave the man an anticancer drug intended for a different patient. A different nurse realized the mistake the next day, and hospital officials immediately apologized to the man’s family.

They said the man was discharged sometime after that, but had to be readmitted in January this year after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

He died in March, seven months after being given the wrong medicine.

Self-defeating drugs

OSAKA — Anticancer drugs may actually cause cancer if administered to patients who have had surgery to remove stomach cancer, researchers at Osaka University Medical School said Thursday.

A team of scholars headed by Jiro Fujimoto based their findings on a followup survey of 159 stomach cancer patients who had surgery at the university between 1975 and 1981, of whom 75 were given anticancer drugs.

Of the 84 patients who were not given anticancer drugs such as mitomycin and 5-fluorouracil, five, or 6 percent, developed a new type of cancer more than five years after their surgery.

However, of the 75 who were given the drugs, 12, or 16 percent, developed different types of cancer, they said.

The researchers also found that healthy mice given the anticancer drug cisplatin died an average of 102 days earlier than the control group.

Mice given cisplatin and lentinan, an immunological activator, also tended to die earlier from inflammation, which caused fluid to gather in the chest and stomach, they said.

“Even though anticancer drugs are commonly used in cancer treatment, the survey indicates there is no need to use such drugs in patients whose stomach cancer was removed at an early stage,” Fujimoto said.

They will present the results today to the ongoing meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association in Yokohama.

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