Monday, June 30, 2008

Can A Good Immune System Prevent or Cure Cancer?

The following article is a very good article. From what I understand, everyone has cancer cells in their body from time to time. Something has to happen to make the cancer cells start to collect in an area and start to grow. Could it be a weakened immune system? I believe that it is. So many things can weaken our immune system. Would you believe that even too much coffee could do it? There has been research that says that it does.

So what can we do if we already have cancer? I say that we need to learn what we can do to improve our immune system and apply all that we can. About fifteen years ago a good friend was diagnosed with a fast growing T-cell lymphoma. He had a tumor on his spleen the size of a football. A doctor wanted to remove it, but he refused to let him. After 10 months of chemo that brought him close to death his lymphoma went into remission. From what I remember he and his wife started eating healthier and used healthy green drinks. The cancer was gone and never has returned in fifteen years.

Oh, how I pray that my husband's cancer stays in remission!!! Please pray with me.

Spontaneous Regression of Advanced Cancer in Mice
Scientists at Wake Forest University's Comprehensive Cancer Center, led by the Pathology Department's Zheng Cui and Mark Willingham, have bred a colony of mice that successfully fight off cancer.

The team has been studying how they do this, and they have successfully transferred immunity from the resistant mice into non-resistant mice.

Subsequent research suggests that this innate ability exists in the human immune system as well, although its effectiveness varies from person to person and from one time of year to another. Additional studies are being conducted to determine whether this immunity can be transferred from one patient to another.

Overview of the CR/SR Mouse Study
Occasional, though rare, cases of spontaneous regression in human cancers have been seen and documented in the past, but no satisfactory explanations for this phenomenon have ever been put forward.

While conducting a series of experiments with mouse sarcoma 180 (S180) cells, which form highly aggressive cancers in all normal mice, Dr. Cui and his colleagues happened upon a single mouse that surprised them with its ability to resist several forms of cancer, despite repeated injections of the sarcoma cells.

Breeding the mouse produced offspring that also exhibited cancer resistance, suggesting a likely genetic link.

The cancer-fighting trait appeared to decline as the mice aged; six-week-old mice appeared to resist the cancer completely when injected with S180 cells, while the older mice were more likely to first develop cancer and only thereafter experience spontaneous regression. Further experiments showed that in these cases it was a massive infiltration of white blood cells that destroyed cancer cells in these mice without damaging normal, healthy cells. [Click here to view video clips of the cellular activity associated with spontaneous regression.]

Based on these results, Drs. Cui and Willingham and their colleagues suggest that a previously unknown immune response may be responsible for spontaneous regression.

More recent studies, described in the May 8, 2006, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, demonstrated the ability to cure cancer in normal mice by transferring purified immune cells from the cancer-resistant mice. These newer studies show that specific types of innate immune cells, such as macrophages, can migrate to the site of cancer in a normal mice and selectively kill all of the cancer cells without harming normal cells. Such studies suggest that this type of mechanism might one day be able to help design a new strategy for cancer therapy

Tuesday, June 24, 2008



Featured Stories

Promising News from ASCO

From targeted therapies to tailored medicine, the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting featured the latest in potentially lifesaving blood cancer therapies.

The Chicago conference drew thousands of the world's top oncologists and researchers, and they weren't disappointed. The science of cancer is evolving quickly - with LLS-funded researchers in the lead, said Barton Kamen, M.D., Ph.D., LLS chief medical officer.

"The scientists are giving us tsunamis of data," Dr. Kamen said. "Our job now is to find and interpret the most useful information. Clearly the thrust of the ASCO presentations was how we can best tailor therapies to the individual patient."

Meeting highlights included:


A Phase I clinical trial of the drug ABT-263, which accelerates cell death, was particularly promising among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma. Researchers included Owen O'Connor, M.D., Ph.D., of Columbia University, and John Leonard, M.D., of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, both recipients of LLS funding.
In clinical trials, the drug dasatinib (Sprycel®) was shown to produce complete cytogenetic remissions in 53 percent of patients with chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and 46 percent in lymphoid blast phase.
New strategies to destroy the stem cells that cause CML and other leukemias.

Positive reports on a class of drugs that target a molecule called mTOR, which seems to be involved in many cancers, including blood cancers. One of these drugs, temsirolimus, appears effective against mantle cell lymphoma and other forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
LLS-funded John Timmerman, M.D., of UCLA School of Medicine, John Byrd, M.D., of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and John Pagel, M.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, led a trial that evaluated a new lymphoma treatment that combined Rituxan® with an IL-21 molecule that activates immune cells, enhancing Rituxan's anti-lymphoma activity. Side effects were few and a third of the patients showed signs of improvement.

A study showed that a drug cocktail of lenalidomide (Revlimid®) and low-dose dexamethasone was superior in increasing overall survival than lenalidomide and high (standard) dose dexamethasone. Using less dexamethasone also cuts down on side effects.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Best Friend

At the urging of a special lady, I am writing about my best friend today. My best friend's name is Charlie, my awesome husband. Josephine, the special lady that I mentioned, said "I love you" for the last time on this earth to her best friend on Mother's Day. A 21 yr. old man, drunk and filled with drugs, killed my friend's best friend, lover, and husband by hitting his truck head on in Louisiana. You may read their story on her blog (link can be reached from here by clicking on her blog listed under Josephine Lirette).

Girls of the 60's and 70's were encouraged by society to have a career. As far back as I can remember, I always dreamed of finding "Mr. Right", being a homemaker, and living happily ever after. A career outside of home just has never been too appealing to me. I did attend college for about 2 1/2 years before I met the man that I know God had planned for me to marry, but I never pursued a career outside of our home. Charlie's desire was also for me to be a stay-at-home wife/mom. It has worked out wonderfully for us for almost 29 years. Although I know that I have failed at times, I have strived to be the best wife/mom. I have great joy in knowing that I make our house a home for Charlie and our children.

From the beginning of our lives together we have put Jesus in the center. Through every trial of life, although tough at times, Jesus has seen us through. With every trial, we have grown spiritually and in love with each other even more. Many times a day we express our love to each other. Our children have no doubt that Mom and Dad love each other. Growing up, they would often laugh and say that we were too "mushy". Being too "mushy" is what gave them security.

When I think of all that my husband has done for me and our five children, my heart and mind is overwhelmed with gratitude. For almost twenty-nine years Charlie has labored physically to supply our needs. How could I not love such a man? The very reason that he now has lymphoma may be because he was willing to risk his health in dangerous jobs.

I have been very blessed to have a husband that is grateful for me as well. Perhaps that is the reason that we are very happily married. Both of us strive very much to please the other. Both of us are very thankful for one another. I believe that the secret of success in life (and marriage)is self-unawareness.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it," Matthew 16:24, 25. For many years now I have loved Charlie with all my heart and in return I have an awesome man that loves me with all of his heart. What a deal!

Lymphoma is not pleasant at all. What will our future be like? We don't know the answer, but we DO know the one that DOES know. We just pray for the Lord to give us the grace to endure it. Meanwhile, we are enjoying the time that we do have together. In a certain way, we have been given a gift from God. Even though we never really took each other for granted, we REALLY don't now. Also, we are able to spend much time together now. Previous to lymphoma we were sometimes both too busy to appreciate each other fully.

To all of you that have prayed for our family, I say "Thanks". To all of you that take your loved ones for granted, please decide not to before it is too late. I know that my friend, Josephine, is very pleased that she didn't take her husband for granted. Remember to say "I love you" to those that you do love because they really need to hear it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thank God for our Soldiers

One beautiful night recently I commented to my husband about how peaceful our neighborhood is. The most noise we ever hear is a train that passes about 100 yards from our home a few times per day. Then I thought about how our American soldiers do not have the peace and quiet that we have. I thought of how fearful they must be when they try to get some sleep. My husband reminded me that the reason that we have peace is because of the men and women that are fighting for us in foreign lands. My husband's sister's son, Felix is one of those brave men that has freely risked his life for us. Thank God he is now on American soil. Included in this post is a photo of Felix and his mom (my sister-in-law) Karen.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Special Garden

I want to share with you a special blessing that I posted on my husband's carepage on April 24, 2008. Below you will find some of the post from that day. I finally have photos of some of the flowers in the garden spoken of in the story. Spring came late here in Northwest Indiana this year, but finally there is color on our landscapes.

April 24, 2008
Please bear with me, I must tell you a story leading up to a big blessing today......About 2 years ago I dug up a garden bed around 2 existing fruit trees. My plans were to fill the large bed (seen from our glass doors in our dining room) with beautiful shrubs, herbs, and flowers. Little by little I have been adding plants, etc to it, but it was still almost empty. On Monday, while I was waiting for Charlie's CT scan to be over, I noticed a beautiful picture hanging in the hospital waiting room. This picture had a garden shaped almost like mine filled with beautiful flowers. Several times I looked at that picture and thought, "Now that's what I want my garden bed to look like, but I suppose that it's on hold for now." I thought that it would be so wonderful for Charlie to see that type of bed from the glass door of our home while he is confined to our home for weeks and probably months. Sometimes I ask the Lord if HE could please give me certain things if he willed it and sometimes I just don't ask. This time I only thought about how wonderful it would be to have a beautiful garden. Today I got a call from a young mother in our church. She and her family recently moved into a home filled with beautiful flowers and shrubs. The only problem with this for her is that she is highly allergic to the bees that the flowers draw. She was wanting to know if I would want to have the flowers. It took a few minutes to register in my brain what God was doing, but when it did register I was so excited. God was giving me the desire of my heart and I didn't even ask him. We went to her home where we dug up a truckload of flowers and shrubs. After, she even came to our home with her girls and helped me get them into the ground before the rain. Later her husband joined us and we had supper together. Aren't friends wonderful?

God cares about the necessities of life and even just our desires. HE is more real in our lives than ever before. My desire is for HIM to be real in your life too. Every year at this time we plant flowers and start an organic vegetable garden. This year my husband can't help me with the yard work so God sends me help. Just maybe another reason for the delay in the transplant is so that we can get our gardens started.