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Science blurb thread.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mytton wrote:
We just need a bunch of 'volunteers'.

Let's do what the Army does. Go down to the poorhouses (college dorms) and say "MONEY AND JOB EXPERIENCE!" really loudly.
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Desire



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mytton wrote:
E-boy wrote:
In other news a researcher at Wake forest university injecting a particularly viscious and agressive cancer (with a 100% fatality rate) into mice found one he couldn't kill. Thinking he'd made an error he injected the mouse with one million times the lethal dose and the little bastard still didn't die. What's more when he extracted the antibodies responsible and injected them into other mice it rendered them immune too.

further research revealed that some humans share this ability (ten to fifteen percent of the group sampled). It's possible, if difference between mouse and human physiology don't get in the way that we could have a very effective wide spectrum cure for cancer soon. At very least better treatment options.

The article I read this in is in the August issue of Discover magazine on page 14.

We just need a bunch of 'volunteers'.


I don't think we'd have much problem getting people to donate the antibodies (as long as it didn't kill them). And after reasonable testing in labs on human cells and whatnot, you'd have plenty of cancer patients volunteering to receive the injection. Actually, I've known enough cancer sufferers that I'd say many of of the terminal ones would volunteer for it even without much testing (of course, a lot wouldn't too but there wouldn't be a lack of volunteers).

When you're running out of hope, any little possibility of hope will often do. And really, what do you have to lose at that point?
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the donors that need to worry.

Recently a group working on "super-antigens" (also aimed at cancer), had to shut down human trials. Everything went very well in the animals and it looked as though they had one hell of a promising therapy. Unfortunately it caused auto-immune disorders in humans, I can't remember if there were fatalities but there were lots of permanent disabling conditions and one man went into a coma.

There's room for optimism in the field in general, but this stuff is so complex they really don't know what will happen without trials.
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are so many promising therapies and drugs in the works right now, most of which get almost no press coverage, and most of which probably never will because some, until then, unknown factor will interfere.

The upside is that there are still a few cool things on the way that do appear to work as they hoped in humans.

Nano-knitting materials are amazing (basically they provide temporary scaffolding for neurons, so they can regrow). These haven't been used in humans yet, but we aren't dealing with as many potentially bad side effects because we aren't screwing around with the immune system. Toxicity of the materials in the long term would be a greater worry and there's no evidence of that.

carbon nano-spheres that are coated with receptors that latch on to cancer specific cell protiens, enter the cancer cell and unload micro doses of chemo are also promising and work well in animals. Again toxicity is a possible worry, and this time there is more evidence for it being a worry.

Immunologists are looking at a wide spread target protien on viruses called M2. existing vaccines combined with this could become immensely more effective and it could be in use as early as next year. Such a vaccine would work against ALL known influenza viruses.

Artificially grown organs are already in use (Bladders in this case. Possibly soon to be followed by teeth (yes teeth are organs) or kidneys).

Work with RNA intereference is producing promising results in controlling fat production and may also be successful in treating, possibly erradicating HIV.

These are just a few of the ideas that are close enough in development that we'll probably see variants of them in use between three years from now on out to about 17.

Fascinating stuff.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desire wrote:
John Mytton wrote:
E-boy wrote:
In other news a researcher at Wake forest university injecting a particularly viscious and agressive cancer (with a 100% fatality rate) into mice found one he couldn't kill. Thinking he'd made an error he injected the mouse with one million times the lethal dose and the little bastard still didn't die. What's more when he extracted the antibodies responsible and injected them into other mice it rendered them immune too.

further research revealed that some humans share this ability (ten to fifteen percent of the group sampled). It's possible, if difference between mouse and human physiology don't get in the way that we could have a very effective wide spectrum cure for cancer soon. At very least better treatment options.

The article I read this in is in the August issue of Discover magazine on page 14.

We just need a bunch of 'volunteers'.


I don't think we'd have much problem getting people to donate the antibodies (as long as it didn't kill them). And after reasonable testing in labs on human cells and whatnot, you'd have plenty of cancer patients volunteering to receive the injection. Actually, I've known enough cancer sufferers that I'd say many of of the terminal ones would volunteer for it even without much testing (of course, a lot wouldn't too but there wouldn't be a lack of volunteers).

When you're running out of hope, any little possibility of hope will often do. And really, what do you have to lose at that point?


the problem is, the terminal patients absolutely will not have the antibodies - if they did, they wouldn't have terminal cancer. the people with the really effective antibodies will never show up in the cancer ward, because they will never get cancer. and if someone doesn't get something, you don't know if it's because they are immune to it, or were never at risk. and of course you can't inject healthy people with a lethal cancer in hopes they will be immune.

i wonder if you could test for antibodies in tissue culture - you could just get samples from all sorts of people, expose them to cancer, and screen out the ones that developed it.
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well you can, apparently test for it, as the guy who did the work was able to identify humans with the same immuno type. Ten to fifteen percent of his sample if I remember correctly.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

true - if he's figured out what the compound is, he can assay for it. then, perhaps, it could be used as an experimental treatment for patients (is _that_ what you meant, desire? that makes more sense.)

wow - 10-15% potentially immune to cancer - that would be pretty cool.

wonder if that explains those people one always hears about who smoke like chimneys and still live to be 97.
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it just be those people that have a ridiculously amazing immune system or is the ability to fight off viruses/bacteria only slightly related to fighting off cancer cells?
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would think it would have to be somewhat different - after all, cancer cells are your own cells, not foreign invaders - malfunctioning, to be sure, but surely identifiable as 'self'. so an immunity to cancer would suggest that the immune system is not merely capable of identifying 'other', but of identifying own cells that are out of control.

but they say dogs can be trained to smell cancer (or at least, different chemicals a person with cancer breathes out) - so the cells perhaps emit something that would tag them.


...afraid the cellular and molecular biology of cancer are not my strong suit.
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are protiens "displayed" on the outside of cancer cells that are characteristic of cancers and not normal cells. Not sure how many varieties of these protiens there are, but they exist.

Also, many cancer tests rely on blood levels of certain protiens, hormones etc, which tend to be elevated in the presence of cancer.
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Desire



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Desire wrote:

I don't think we'd have much problem getting people to donate the antibodies (as long as it didn't kill them). And after reasonable testing in labs on human cells and whatnot, you'd have plenty of cancer patients volunteering to receive the injection. Actually, I've known enough cancer sufferers that I'd say many of of the terminal ones would volunteer for it even without much testing (of course, a lot wouldn't too but there wouldn't be a lack of volunteers).

When you're running out of hope, any little possibility of hope will often do. And really, what do you have to lose at that point?


the problem is, the terminal patients absolutely will not have the antibodies - if they did, they wouldn't have terminal cancer. the people with the really effective antibodies will never show up in the cancer ward, because they will never get cancer. and if someone doesn't get something, you don't know if it's because they are immune to it, or were never at risk. and of course you can't inject healthy people with a lethal cancer in hopes they will be immune.

i wonder if you could test for antibodies in tissue culture - you could just get samples from all sorts of people, expose them to cancer, and screen out the ones that developed it.


I wasn't trying to imply that you'd get the antibodies from cancer patients. But there are plenty of people (like probably anyone who has watched anyone die or suffer from cancer) who would be more then happy to donate antibodies for the research.

And there'd be plenty of terminal patients willing to try an experiment program if there was any hope of a cure. Hell, I've known at least a few cancer patients that weren't even terminal and still were trying every experimental program they could accepted into.

So volunteers wouldn't be a problem from either angle. That's what I was trying to say originally.
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MsFrisby



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is... once people already have cancer, they can't be vaccinated against it with the antibodies from the immune folks. You need people to get vaccinated and THEN they not get cancer even though they should. Like in families where there is a high occurrance of certain cancers.
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Desire



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evidently I'm confusing it with something else I've read recently.
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trustedfaith



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mytton wrote:
E-boy wrote:
In other news a researcher at Wake forest university injecting a particularly viscious and agressive cancer (with a 100% fatality rate) into mice found one he couldn't kill. Thinking he'd made an error he injected the mouse with one million times the lethal dose and the little bastard still didn't die. What's more when he extracted the antibodies responsible and injected them into other mice it rendered them immune too.

further research revealed that some humans share this ability (ten to fifteen percent of the group sampled). It's possible, if difference between mouse and human physiology don't get in the way that we could have a very effective wide spectrum cure for cancer soon. At very least better treatment options.

The article I read this in is in the August issue of Discover magazine on page 14.

We just need a bunch of 'volunteers'.


I could think of a lot of people I'd volunteer. But that's only if it doesn't work.
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Dusty



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so when cancer kills off most of us there will be 10% left to repopulate/immunize society?
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