Sunday, September 09, 2007

Chip implants: Linked to animal tumor

Back on May 21st, I wrote a post called Chip Implants: Ethical or not? It talked about the use of an implantable chip in the arm of Alzheimer's patients. This chip would have all the medical information necessary for an emergency room physician or other health care professional who needed it. This post generated a great discussion on this topic.

This morning, the AP has an article which states that chips like this have been associated with tumor production in animal studies. What's interesting is that the companies involved knew this information when they went before the FDA for approval. The FDA approved the use of the chips in 1995.
"The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.

Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people.
This definitely adds fuel to the fire of the debate of use of this chip in humans. Despite this AP article, I continue to hold the position that these chips should be used. As stated above, animal studies do not necessarily translate into human studies. Keep a close eye on this story. I imagine that there will be more coming from both sides of this debate.


Ami said...

It's not bad enough for someone to be stricken with Alzheimer's... we need to add the risk of cancer to that?

Animal research exists to protect us from things like this.

I am not sure why someone would be in favor of adding this very real risk to an already fragile existence.

What are the benefits of this sort of implant? Do they even come close to outweighing the risks? I would definitely not allow anyone in my family to be invaded by a transponder.

jscherger said...

Tumors do not equal cancer. Most tumors are benign. It would make sense that a foreign body would cause a tumor like reaction. I would not be concerned unless we are talking about malignant tumors (cancer)

Anonymous said...

Chips in bodies scare me...SHEESH!

Kiki B. said...

"Tumors do not equal cancer. Most tumors are benign." Yes, they are, but try telling someone dealing with Cushing's Disease for years on end from a Pit. tumor that a benign tumor is no big deal. Trust me, it is.

Also, what's wrong with the good, old, MedicAlert bracelet or necklace. I have one, and it has my information available to medical personnel. MedicAlert also has something similar to a flashdrive that you can carry on a keychain or elsewhere that you can plug into a USB drive in a computer and pull up the patients info. There is also MEDEM, which is a computer program that contains your medical information, and your doctors are able to access it. There are many more options that aren't invasive or possibly dangerous to partake of before one goes running of to get an implant. Believe me, I have heard of way too many implantable medical devices giving patients major complications.

Mauigirl said...

The heck with the people, what about the poor animals? (Obviously I'm kidding, I would be very concerned about implanting chips in people both for medical and political concerns). But seriously, my dog came from a rescue group that implants chips in the dogs in case they get lost. And my dog has had two mast cell tumors (which are a type of cancer common in dogs). I wonder if there is a connection?

Visionary & Medium Extraordinaire said...

Shocking, but I'm not surprised. Especially that the FDA witheld infromation. Not the first time.
It's not the foreign object that is causing tumors is it, rather the transmitters, right?
Otherwise pacemakers and other objects should be causing more frequency with tumors.

Mauigirl, pets often get tumors from getting their shots always in the same place. A good friend of mine lost her dog because he'd get his annual nasal shots. He started getting tumors in his nose, then it spread all into his scull/head. It was painful to watch

The Curmudgeon said...

I can see where this would be useful especially with patients suffering from advanced dementia -- heck, I can see (skipping up to the cell phone post currently on the top of the page) a day not too far off when cell phones might be implanted in anyone who wants.

I just want (a) to be able to say no, thank you and (b) if I take one, I want an off switch. At least until some court somewhere deems me no longer competent to handle my own on/off switch.

How's that?

It's me, T.J. said...

We've been using microchips for almost 10 years...

As far as we know, none of our patients have developed tumors at, or near, the chip site. As far as other tumors, we haven't seen what would be a 'considerable' increase in the incidence of cancers over the last 10 years.

The study was done on mice which are a whole lot smaller than cats, dogs, or humans.

I wonder how many people are walking around with shrapnel? I wonder if they could be used in a 'human-type' study.