Friday, February 19, 2010
In a conversation Greg and I were having with some friends from college two nights ago about what had happened to American initiatives such as "putting a man in space?" Had the nation lost its edge? I begged to differ. From my experience in this world of cancer and medicine, the billions of dollars in private enterprise and medical research are so cutting edge and exciting and ingenious and the scientists and clinicians working on these issues are so dedicated and brilliant. Pharmaceutical companies get a bad name for a variety of reasons right now, but I am personally benefitting from the billions of dollars in R and D that went into coming up with anti-nausea drugs for cancer patients - and shots that you can give yourself at home to raise your blood levels. The doctors and researchers whom I have met in the oncology and pharmo-oncological world, as well as those mapping the genomes to get to the bottom of this disease, are right up there with the Greatest Generation in terms of how they are serving their country and mankind. Every day our scientists and doctors are in essence "putting a man on the moon." These are the most dedicated individuals I have met since leaving the Pentagon. Here is another cancer advance written about in the Wall Street Journal today - and they are doing the same at labs across the country trying to map the Triple Negative DNA so that we can get better targeted treatments and not have to simply napalm every cancer patient and hope they live.
Image credit: U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program, http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis.
"All diseases have a genetic component, whether inherited or resulting from the body's response to environmental stresses like viruses or toxins. The successes of the Human Genome Project (HGP) have even enabled researchers to pinpoint errors in genes--the smallest units of heredity--that cause or contribute to disease. The ultimate goal is to use this information to develop new ways to treat, cure, or even prevent the thousands of diseases that afflict humankind."
Posted by Jennifer Griffin at 6:34 AM