Lung Cancer Patients Travel To Cuba For Novel Drug Not Approved In U.S.
The risk comes with high costs, but a small number of Americans have seen results. In other news, The Boston Globe reports on what happens to cancer research when a lab shuts down. And, news outlets cover other developments including hormone therapy risks for prostate cancer patients, a breast cancer research connection to dogs, cellphone radiation exposure, immunotherapy and a mother's hard decision to stop treatment.
Facing Bleak Odds, Cancer Patients Chase One Last Chance
Even as the US-Cuba relationship changes, bringing a growing numbers of tourists, the island remains in many ways frozen in time; when (Mick) Phillips was last there in the spring, he was driven around by a cabbie in a ‘55 Buick. But a striving, modern biotech enterprise thrives in Cuba, too. It’s a legacy of the US embargo: With drugs from the US unavailable, Cuba had to develop its own pharmaceutical industry. Among its biggest accomplishments is a novel treatment for lung cancer called CimaVax. (Waters, 8/5)
The Boston Globe:
Lab Is Liquidated, And So Is Decade Of Cancer Studies
Lynn Hlatky has spent her career as a scientist studying the development of cancer, hoping in some way to improve understanding of an insidious disease.She took a path common in her field: won funding, established a lab, assembled a team of colleagues, and got to work.But now, a decade of Hlatky’s work is suddenly gone. After a highly unusual chain of events, thousands of little glass tubes of cells and proteins, pieces of human tumor tissue, and other biological samples have been destroyed.The materials fell victim to the bankruptcy of Genesys Research Institute Inc., a nonprofit that in 2013 took control of Hlatky’s lab on the campus of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton. (McCluskey, 8/6)
The Washington Post:
Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer May Pose A Risk For Black Men
Black men treated with hormone therapy for prostate cancer may have a higher risk of death than white men undergoing the same therapy, according to a new study. But the deaths aren’t actually caused by prostate cancer. Androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, is a hormone treatment that shrinks prostate tumors. Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that black men undergoing the therapy had a 77 percent higher risk of death than non-black men. (Beachum, 8/5)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Treating Dogs With Breast Cancer, And Aiding Research For Humans
Through the Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor Program, breast tumors are removed from homeless dogs that would otherwise go untreated and quite likely die. The dogs are then put up for adoption.At the same time, the dogs and their tumors are contributing to research on breast cancer in humans... Shelter dogs turn out to be excellent subjects for the study of how breast cancers form. (Giordano, 8/7)
Los Angeles Times:
Will The Next Generation Of Cellphone Service Pose Health Risks?
Concerns about the potential harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation have dogged mobile technology since the first brick-sized cellphones hit the market in the 1980s. Industry and federal officials have largely dismissed those fears, saying the radiation exposure is minimal and that the devices are safe. ... But the launch of super-fast 5G technology over the next several years will dramatically increase the number of transmitters sending signals to cellphones and a host of new Internet-enabled devices, including smart appliances and autonomous vehicles. (Puzzanghera, 8/8)
Immune System Can Help Fight Cancers
Advancements in immunotherapy are giving Rome oncologist Dr. Melissa Dillmon hope that even more people will survive their battles with cancer. She told the Rotary Club of Rome on Thursday immunotherapy was pioneered to treat melanoma, but is now approved to fight lung, kidney and bladder cancers. She thinks its use will continue to spread. (Walker, 8/5)
When A Mother Decides To Stop Cancer Treatment And Face Death
More than a decade ago, Colleen Lum was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. ...A few months ago, after battling the disease for 13 years, Lum, who lives with her husband and family in Hopedale, Massachusetts, decided to end treatment. Today, at age 56, her health has further declined, according to her daughter. Lum is no longer eating or drinking much. (Brewster and Meyer, 8/5)