Parker Waichman LLP Warns of New Research Indicating Recipients of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants May Face Increased Cancer Risk

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Patients Implanted with DePuy Orthopaedics' ASR Hip Resurfacing System or an All-Metal Version of DePuy's Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System Need to Be Aware of Cancer, Other Health Risks, that may be Associated with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm representing plaintiffs in lawsuits involving defective medical devices, is warning patients with metal-on-metal hip implants, particularly those who have received DePuy Orthopedics' ASR Hip Resurfacing System, or an all-metal version of DePuy's Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, of new research out of Britain indicating that patients with such devices face an increased risk of developing cancer. A study, conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol, found that 1 in 5 patients fitted with an all-metal hip implant experienced changes to cells in the bladder that could be precursors of cancer, according to a report published by The Sunday Telegraph on February 4, 2011.

Metal-on-metal hip implants have been the subject of growing concerns since the August 2010 worldwide recall of the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the DePuy ASR Acetabular System. The recall was issued after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received the devices had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it.

According to a report from Newsinferno.com, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, now faces over 3,500 U.S. product liability suits stemming from the ASR hip implant recall. Most of those lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation before Judge David A. Katz in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (MDL 2197). The all-metal version of DePuy's Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System has also been named in more than 900 lawsuits by plaintiffs who allege it is similar in design to the ASR hip implants and should have been recalled as well. DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation before Judge James E. Kinkeade in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (MDL 2244).

According to The Sunday Telegraph report, researchers at Bristol University examined data on 72 patients who had been implanted with a metal-on-metal hip replacement device. They found that 17 patients had experienced genetic damage to the cells of their bladder, while three patients had developed full-blown cancer. The report also said, the researchers are concerned that the genetic damage seen in the study could be a precursor to the formation of cancer as the result of cell mutation. The Bristol University study has not yet been published, as an analysis of its results is ongoing. However, one orthopedist involved in the research told The Sunday Telegraph that he hoped the study findings would be presented next month, at the annual British Hip Society conference.

Regulators with the Unitied Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have been conducting a full-scale review of metal-on-metal hip implants since 2010. Hip implant recipients in the U.K. have been advised to undergo annual checks, including scans and blood tests, if they experience symptoms that suggest their hips are shedding unsafe levels of metal debris. On January 28, 2011, The Sunday Telegraph reported that U.K. health regulators were preparing to issue new guidance regarding metal-on-metal hip implants amid concerns that the shedding of metal debris into patients' blood streams could lead to "systemic toxicity," and could put the nervous system, heart and lungs at risk of being slowly poisoned.

Last May, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) directed 21 makers of all-metal hip implants, including DePuy Orthopaedics, to conduct post-market studies of their products to determine if they were shedding dangerous amounts of metallic debris in patients. It is believed that metal-on-metal hip implants can shed dangerous amounts of cobalt and chromium through wear, leading to cobalt poisoning and metallosis. These conditions may result in tissue damage, the development of cysts and pseudotumors, premature device failure, the need for revision surgery, and other long-term health problems.

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of metal-on-metal hip implant injuries, including DePuy Orthopaedics' ASR Hip Implant and the all-metal version of the Pinnacle hip replacement device. If you or a loved experienced premature failure of your implant or other health problems associated with metal-on-metal hip implants, please contact their office by visiting the firm's defective hip implant page at http://www.yourlawyer.com.

Specific information regarding the DePuy ASR hip implant recall or the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant can also be accessed at the firm's website. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636).

For more information regarding defective hip implant lawsuits and Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: http://www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Contact:
Parker Waichman LLP
Herb Waichman, Partner
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636
http://www.yourlawyer.com

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