Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A piece of bad news with many sorry connections.

The information Reuters provides about Senator Kennedy's brain tumor diagnosis only mentions glioma which does not provide enough detail for certainty. But the possibilities include little hope. Glioblastoma Multiforme is the most common of the gliomas and its prognosis with current treatments is a 20% chance of surviving one year. As I said: we don't know that it is that bad. That is simply the worst of a range of unpleasant outcomes.

Eleven years ago, it was known that neural stem cells had an uncanny ability to glide between other cells in the brain to seek out and attach themselves to gliomas. A lot of research funding would be needed to find a way to use these cells as couriers to deliver chemotheraputic substances exactly to target tissue no surgeon would ever be able to safely or completely excise. I happen to know the medical researcher, Dr. A, involved in the study because my son worked in her laboratory briefly in 2001. When the pathetic-mistake-in-chief executed the will of the church to legislate a medieval science policy over the will of the congress to fund stem cell studies, that researcher picked up and moved to California and started over again were federal monies that were drying up could be augmented from other sources. The delay in research means that Dr. A's work in transferring techniques in mice for use in humans is only in the early stages of clinical trials now. Thats too late to do the Senator any good, even though he voted for the measure that was vetoed. Bush would be delighted if he were capable of seeing the connection of his action to this outcome.

By the way, Dr A's parents were both born in Baghdad and fled when the Baathists began hanging Jews in the streets. I have talked with them and they both think Bush is an idiot who won't get the oil he was after and has clumsily destroyed the few things in Iraq for which expatriates might have returned.

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