WBEZ | cancer http://www.wbez.org/tags/cancer Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en European cancer experts don't agree on how risky Roundup is http://www.wbez.org/news/european-cancer-experts-dont-agree-how-risky-roundup-113789 <p><div id="res455914782" previewtitle="A bottle of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide in a gardening store in Lille, France. A group convened by the European Food Safety Agency reviewed the available scientific data on the chemical, also known as glyphosate, and concluded that it probably does not cause cancer."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A bottle of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide in a gardening store in Lille, France. A group convened by the European Food Safety Agency reviewed the available scientific data on the chemical, also known as glyphosate, and concluded that it probably does not cause cancer." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/roundup_sized-cfae06f9931a618e1cbc0e338792a2d962bad393-s1600-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="A bottle of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide in a gardening store in Lille, France. A group convened by the European Food Safety Agency reviewed the available scientific data on the chemical, also known as glyphosate, and concluded that it probably does not cause cancer. (Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><p>Glyphosate, widely known by its trade name, Roundup, probably gets more attention than any other herbicide. It&#39;s one of world&#39;s most-used weedkillers, and it is also closely linked to the growth of genetically modified crops.</p></div></div><p>Monsanto invented Roundup, and also invented crops that grow well when it&#39;s used on them. Farmers find that combination almost irresistible.</p><p>So in March, when the World Health Organization&#39;s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probably carcinogen, it set off a furor. Monsanto was outraged, and vociferously&nbsp;<a href="http://www.monsanto.com/iarc-roundup/pages/default.aspx">questioned</a>&nbsp;the IARC&#39;s judgement. Opponents of GMOs&nbsp;<a href="http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/glyphosate-faq_64013.pdf">welcomed</a>&nbsp;the agency&#39;s conclusion as a scientific validation of their cause.</p><div id="res455925606"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_403093289867.jpg" style="height: 430px; width: 620px;" title="A banner is photographed, during a World March Against Monsanto, in Paris, France, in Paris, Saturday, May 23 2015. Marches and rallies against Monsanto, a sustainable agriculture company and genetically modified organisms food and seeds were held in dozens of countries in a global campaign highlighting the dangers of GMO Food. Banner reads 'Monsanto genocide alive'. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)" /></div></div><div id="res455925642"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>The IARC&#39;s announcement was especially noteworthy because glyphosate has long been considered among the least toxic pesticides used by farmers.</p><p>Now, another group of cancer experts has weighed in, further complicating the scientific debate.</p><p>The group, which was convened by the European Food Safety Agency, has reviewed the available scientific data on glyphosate and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/151112">concluded</a>&nbsp;that it probably does not cause cancer.</p><p>The European group took pains to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/4302_glyphosate_complementary.pdf">explain</a>&nbsp;why its assessment differs from that of the IARC. The European group considered a slightly different group of studies, for one thing. It only looked at studies of glyphosate by itself, for instance, rather than studies of glyphosate as it is sold to customers. These commercial formulations generally include a mixture of chemicals, and some of these other ingredients may be more more dangerous than glyphosate itself.</p><p>Any regulatory decisions in Europe about glyphosate-based herbicides will involve a close look at those commercial mixtures.</p><p>The next act in this scientific drama, though, is set for this side of the Atlantic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been carrying out its own review of glyphosate&#39;s risks. The agency&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/epa-completes-glyphosate-review-findings-expected-no-later-than-july/article_d5a05f3d-e6a7-5c75-9b73-5defebadc192.html">reportedly</a>&nbsp;has finished a &quot;preliminary risk assessment&quot; of the chemical, and could release results by the end of the year.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/11/13/455810235/european-cancer-experts-dont-agree-on-how-risky-roundup-is" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/european-cancer-experts-dont-agree-how-risky-roundup-113789 Hormones may help younger women with menopause symptoms http://www.wbez.org/news/hormones-may-help-younger-women-menopause-symptoms-113713 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/npr_menopause_wide-bdc3f0d1daeb5b077f445b6af3da34572198c086-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455029793" previewtitle="Maria Fabrizio for NPR"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Maria Fabrizio for NPR" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/npr_menopause_wide-bdc3f0d1daeb5b077f445b6af3da34572198c086-s800-c85.jpg" title="Maria Fabrizio for NPR" /></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>For Linnea Duvall, a marriage and family therapist who lives and works in Santa Monica, Calif., the symptoms of menopause started when she turned 50. She felt more irritable, a smidge heavier and she started waking up two to three times a night.</p><p>And then she had a hot flash.</p><p>&quot;It felt like a nuclear bomb went off right behind my belly button,&quot; she says. &quot;The radiation went out to my fingertips, the tops of my toes, the top of my head and the ends of my hair.&quot;</p><p>But Duvall would not consider&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007111.htm">hormone therapy</a>&nbsp;to control the flashes. She was terrified. She says she can sum up her fear in two words: &quot;breast cancer.&quot;</p><p>To understand why she feels this way, we have to look back a few decades to a time when many postmenopausal women were taking hormones to treat symptoms. At the time, hormones were thought of as something of an elixir of youth that could also prevent chronic disease. So women took hormones indefinitely. But a huge&nbsp;<a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1745676">study</a>&nbsp;in 2002 changed everything.</p><p>Known as the Women&#39;s Health Initiative, it found that taking estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy actually increased a woman&#39;s risk of heart disease and breast cancer. The study had a huge effect. Within months the number of women taking hormones in the U.S. dropped by almost half. Today, only about 10 percent of women aged 50 or over are on hormone therapy.</p><p>That was a huge overreaction, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.utianllc.com/">Dr. Wulf Utian</a>, director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.menopause.org/">North American Menopause Society</a>, particularly in light of more recent findings. A more detailed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24084921">analysis</a>&nbsp;of the Women&#39;s Health Initiative data found that age really made a difference in heart disease risk. For women who started hormone therapy between the ages of 50 and 59, there was a protective&nbsp;<a href="http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/full/10.2217/whe.15.24">benefit</a>, says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/joann-manson/">Dr. JoAnn Manson</a>, one of the lead investigators of the study and a professor of medicine at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.</p><p>Women who take hormones earlier after the onset of menopause may experience less plaque, blood vessel blockage, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis">atherosclerosis,</a>&nbsp;Manson says, &quot;And possibly even a reduced risk of heart attack. But for women over the age of 60 the benefit seems to disappear. This is probably because older women already have plaque buildup, Manson says.</p><p>Researchers in Denmark also&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e6409">found</a>&nbsp;that age makes a difference. They looked at 1,000 healthy women between the ages of 45 and 58. The women who took hormones experienced significantly reduced risk of mortality, heart failure and heart attack.</p><p>Today, menopausal women are young in the scale of things, says Dr. Wulf Utian, noting that menopause typically starts between age 45 and 60. If women start hormones within in a few years of menopause or even a few years before, he says there are numerous benefits beyond controlling hot flashes. These benefits include reduced risk of bone fractures, reduced risk of diabetes and for many women, an overall boost in their quality of life &mdash; meaning better sleep, maintenance of libido and more comfortable sex.</p><p>&quot;In my opinion, the best recommendation would be for some form of hormone therapy,&quot; says Utian.</p><p>But here&#39;s the worry. Studies do confirm an increased risk of breast cancer among women taking hormones, regardless of age. Manson says any risk is worrisome, but it&#39;s important to put this risk in perspective and understand that it is actually small.</p><p>&quot;For every 1,000 women per year not using hormone therapy about 3 would develop breast cancer,&quot; Manson says. &quot;And among every 1,000 women using hormone therapy about 4 of them would develop breast cancer, so that&#39;s about 1 extra case of breast cancer per 1,000 women per year on hormone therapy.&quot;</p><p>This is where things get tricky. There is no consensus in the medical community on whether the symptom relief is worth the extra risk. Different doctors interpret risk differently. And if you&#39;re a breast oncologist like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.labiomed.org/researchers/rowan-t-chlebowski-md-phd">Dr. Rowan Chlebowski</a>&nbsp;at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, any risk is too much.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a disease that I see every day,&quot; Chlebowsi says. &quot;So I think that&#39;s something to be avoided.&quot;</p><p>Chlebowski a<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/09/454710392/hormones-may-help-younger-women-with-menopause-symptoms?ft=nprml&amp;f=454710392#_msocom_1" name="_msoanchor_1" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(71, 116, 204); -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; text-decoration: none;"></a>dds that hormone therapy also makes it more difficult to read mammograms, since hormones make the breast denser. If mammograms are more difficult to read, it&#39;s harder to diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stage when it&#39;s most treatable.</p><p>So bottom line &mdash; this really&nbsp;is&nbsp;an individual decision between a woman and her doctor, a decision based on how much risk a woman can tolerate in favor of symptom control and other potential benefits. Researcher Joann Manson says if a woman chooses hormone therapy, then the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time is probably safe for most women.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/09/454710392/hormones-may-help-younger-women-with-menopause-symptoms?ft=nprml&amp;f=454710392" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/hormones-may-help-younger-women-menopause-symptoms-113713 Sharp rise in black women's breast cancer rate http://www.wbez.org/news/black-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-match-white-womens-113565 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/breast-cancer_custom-cc9abf970b967f9332909f0b526dafb8a5d6c718-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res452832983" previewtitle="For decades, black women faced lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than did white women."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="For decades, black women faced lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than did white women." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/29/breast-cancer_custom-cc9abf970b967f9332909f0b526dafb8a5d6c718-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="For decades, black women faced lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than did white women. (ColorBlind Images/Blend Image)" /></div><div><div><p>For decades, African-American women have been less likely to get breast cancer than white women, but that health advantage has now all but disappeared.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;For a while we&#39;ve seen the increase in black women and stable rates in white women,&quot; says Carol DeSantis, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who led the study. &quot;Even though we&#39;d seen the trend,&quot; she says, &quot;it&#39;s sort of shocking.&quot;</p><div id="res452824661"><div id="responsive-embed-breast-cancer-20151028"><iframe frameborder="0" height="571px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/breast-cancer-20151028/child.html?initialWidth=775&amp;childId=responsive-embed-breast-cancer-20151028&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fhealth-shots%2F2015%2F10%2F29%2F452650557%2Fblack-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-to-equal-white-womens%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D452650557" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="100%"></iframe></div></div><p>African-American women&#39;s risk increased by 0.4 percent a year from 2008 through 2012, a much sharper increase than in earlier years. Overall, 124.3 black women per 100,000 were diagnosed with breast cancer in those years, compared to 128.1 for white women.</p><p>Black women have the highest death rates from breast cancer, at 31.0 per 100,000 compared to 21.9 per 100,00. They tend to be diagnosed later, when cancers are more likely to have spread.</p><p>The number African-American women diagnosed with estrogen-positive breast cancer has been on the rise, and DeSantis says that may be due to rising obesity rates.</p><p>In 2012, 58 percent of black women were obese, compared to 33 percent of white women. More fat increases estrogen levels in the body, which is a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000913.htm">risk factor</a>&nbsp;for some forms of breast cancer.</p><p>Other risk factors are probably involved, DeSantis says, but &quot;I really don&#39;t know if there are changes in black women more than in white women &mdash; having fewer children, having them later in life. I&#39;d like to look into it some more. There may be other risk factors changing as well.&quot;</p><p>Women of all races should be aware of breast cancer risk factors, DeSantis says. &quot;Maintain a healthy body weight, be physically active and limit your intake of alcohol.&quot; She also notes that mammograms remain the best tool for catching breast cancer early, when it&#39;s more easily treated.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21320/abstract">results</a>&nbsp;were published Thursday in&nbsp;CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. They&#39;re based on data from the National Cancer Institute&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://seer.cancer.gov/">SEER program</a>, which has been collecting information on cancer patients since 1973.</p><p>The breast cancer rates for African-American women were actually higher than for white women in seven states: Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. They were lower in 11 states and the District of Columbia.</p><p>Breast cancer incidence also increased slightly for Asian and Pacific Islander women, but their rates are still much lower than those for white and African-American women, at 88.3 per 100,000. Hispanics also have lower rates, at 91.9 per 100,000.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/29/452650557/black-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-to-equal-white-womens?ft=nprml&amp;f=452650557" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 09:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/black-womens-breast-cancer-risk-rises-match-white-womens-113565 WHO: Processed meat can cause cancer http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-26/who-processed-meat-can-cause-cancer-113503 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1026_salami-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_94954"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The World Health Organization says meat processed through salting, curing, smoking and other methods can cause cancer. (dinnerseries/Flickr)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/10/1026_salami-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The World Health Organization says meat processed through salting, curing, smoking and other methods can cause cancer. (dinnerseries/Flickr)" /></p><p><a href="http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf" target="_blank">New research</a>&nbsp;out today from the World Health Organization finds that that processed meats can cause cancer, and that red meat probably can, too.</p></div><p>WHO defines processed meats as &ldquo;meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation&hellip; Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.&rdquo;</p><p>The findings are sure to be controversial. The beef industry in the U.S. is huge &ndash; $95 billion a year &ndash; and the National Cattlemen&rsquo;s Beef Association has already weighed in saying it doesn&rsquo;t think there is evidence to support any link between red meat and cancer.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em>Robin Young talks with one of the researchers, <a href="http://www.iarc.fr/en/staffdirectory/displaystaff.php?id=10057" target="_blank">Dr.&nbsp;Kurt Straif</a>&nbsp;of the <a href="http://monographs.iarc.fr/" target="_blank">International Agency for Research on Cancer</a>, which is part of the WHO, about the findings.</p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-26/who-processed-meat-can-cause-cancer-113503 Can a cancer drug reverse Parkinson's disease and dementia? http://www.wbez.org/news/can-cancer-drug-reverse-parkinsons-disease-and-dementia-113397 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/parkinsons-1_custom-162d2c49eedb6c0f14a6db56cc27faa6b1cc8ee5-s600-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res449200871" previewtitle="Alan Hoffman, shown with his wife Nancy at their home in Dumfries, Va., found that his Parkinson's symptom improved when he took a cancer drug."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Alan Hoffman, shown with his wife Nancy at their home in Dumfries, Va., found that his Parkinson's symptom improved when he took a cancer drug." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/16/parkinsons-1_custom-162d2c49eedb6c0f14a6db56cc27faa6b1cc8ee5-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Alan Hoffman, shown with his wife Nancy at their home in Dumfries, Va., found that his Parkinson's symptom improved when he took a cancer drug. (Claire Harbage for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>A drug that&#39;s already approved for treating leukemia appears to dramatically reduce symptoms in people who have Parkinson&#39;s disease with dementia, or a related condition called Lewy body dementia.</p></div></div></div><p>A pilot study of 12 patients given small doses of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.us.tasigna.com/index.jsp">nilotinib</a>&nbsp;found that movement and mental function improved in all of the 11 people who completed the six-month trial, researchers reported Saturday at the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2015">Society for Neuroscience meeting</a>&nbsp;in Chicago.</p><p>And for several patients the improvements were dramatic, says&nbsp;<a href="https://neurology.georgetown.edu/faculty/pagan">Fernando Pagan</a>, an author of the study and director of the Movement Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center. One woman regained the ability to feed herself, one man was able to stop using a walker, and three previously nonverbal patients began speaking again, Pagan says.</p><p>&quot;After 25 years in Parkinson&#39;s disease research, this is the most excited I&#39;ve ever been,&quot; Pagan says.</p><p>If the drug&#39;s effectiveness is confirmed in larger, placebo-controlled studies, nilotinib could become the first treatment to interrupt a process that kills brain cells in Parkinson&#39;s and other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer&#39;s.</p><p>One of the patients in the pilot study was Alan Hoffman, 74, who lives with his wife, Nancy, in Northern Virginia.</p><p>Hoffman was diagnosed with Parkinson&#39;s in 1997. At first, he had trouble moving his arms. Over time, walking became more difficult and his speech became slurred. And by 2007, the disease had begun to affect his thinking.</p><p>&quot;I knew I&#39;d dropped off in my ability to read,&quot; Hoffman says. &quot;People would keep giving me books and I&#39;d have read the first chapter of about 10 of them. I had no ability to focus on it.&quot;</p><p>&quot;He had more and more difficulty making sense,&quot; Nancy Hoffman says. He also became less active, less able to have conversations, and eventually stopped doing even household chores, she says.</p><p>But after a few weeks on nilotinib, Hoffman &quot;improved in every way,&quot; his wife says. &quot;He began loading the dishwasher, loading the clothes in the dryer, things he had not done in a long time.&quot;</p><p>Even more surprising, Hoffman&#39;s scores on cognitive tests began to improve. At home, Nancy Hoffman says her husband was making sense again and regained his ability to focus. &quot;He actually read the David McCullough book on the Wright Brothers and started reading the paper from beginning to end,&quot; she says.</p><p>The idea of using nilotinib to treat people like Alan Hoffman came from&nbsp;<a href="http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/cem46/">Charbel Moussa</a>, an assistant professor of neurology at Georgetown University and an author of the study.</p><p><strong>Before and after taking nilotinib</strong></p><p>Mary Leigh has had Parkinson&#39;s Disease for almost 20 years. Here she is before the treatment and after five months of being on the drug.</p><div id="res449223084"><div id="slideshow449223084" style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/templates/event/embeddedVideo.php?storyId=448323916&amp;mediaId=449223084" width="600"></iframe></div><div>(Courtesy of Georgetown University)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/templates/event/embeddedVideo.php?storyId=448323916&amp;mediaId=449241356" width="600"></iframe></div><div>(Courtesy of Georgetown University)</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Moussa knew that in people who have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alz.org/dementia/parkinsons-disease-symptoms.asp">Parkinson&#39;s disease with dementia</a>&nbsp;or a related condition called&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/lewy-body-dementia/introduction">Lewy body dementia</a>, toxic proteins build up in certain brain cells, eventually killing them. Moussa thought nilotinib might be able to reverse this process.</p><p>His reasoning was that nilotinib activates a system in cells that works like a garbage disposal &mdash; it clears out unwanted proteins. Also, Moussa had shown that while cancer cells tend to die when exposed to nilotinib, brain cells actually become healthier.</p><p>So Moussa had his lab try the drug on brain cells in a Petri dish. &quot;And we found that, surprisingly, with a very little amount of the drug we can clear all these proteins that are supposed to be neurotoxic,&quot; he says.</p><p>Next, Moussa had his team give the drug to transgenic mice that were almost completely paralyzed from Parkinson&#39;s disease. The treatment &quot;rescued&quot; the animals, he says, allowing them to move almost as well as healthy mice.</p><p>Moussa&#39;s mice got the attention of Pagan from Georgetown&#39;s Movement Disorders Program. &quot;When Dr. Moussa showed them to me,&quot; Pagan says, &quot;it looked like, hey, this is type of drug that we&#39;ve been looking for because it goes to the root of the problem.&quot;</p><p>The pilot study was designed to determine whether nilotinib was safe for Parkinson&#39;s patients and to determine how much drug from the capsules they were taking was reaching their brains. &quot;But we also saw efficacy, which is really unheard of in a safety study,&quot; Pagan says.</p><p>The study found that levels of toxic proteins in blood and spinal fluid decreased once patients began taking nilotinib. Also, tests showed that the symptoms of Parkinson&#39;s including tremor and &quot;freezing&quot; decreased. And during the study patients were able to use lower doses of Parkinson&#39;s drugs, suggesting that the brain cells that produce dopamine were working better.</p><p>But there are some caveats, Pagan says. For one thing, the study was small, not designed to measure effectiveness, and included no patients taking a placebo.</p><p>Also, nilotinib is very expensive. The cost of providing it to leukemia patients is thousands of dollars a month.</p><div id="res449201324" previewtitle="Hoffman says his symptoms have gotten worse since he stopped taking the medication as part of a study."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Hoffman says his symptoms have gotten worse since he stopped taking the medication as part of a study." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/16/parkinsons-2_custom-ae81fad485eeb2e0ca45b16ccf7d9a25c8ccad9a-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Hoffman says his symptoms have gotten worse since he stopped taking the medication as part of a study. (Claire Harbage for NPR)" /></div><div data-crop-type="">And finally, Parkinson&#39;s and dementia patients would have to keep taking nilotinib indefinitely or their symptoms would continue to get worse.</div></div><p>Alan Hoffman was okay for about three weeks after the study ended and he stopped taking the drug. Since then, &quot;There&#39;s (been) a pretty big change,&quot; his wife says. &quot;He does have more problems with his speech, and he has more problems with cognition and more problems with mobility.&quot;</p><p>The Hoffmans hope to get more nilotinib from the drug&#39;s maker, Novartis, through a special program for people who improve during experiments like this one.</p><p>Meanwhile, the Georgetown team plans to try nilotinib in patients with another brain disease that involves toxic proteins: Alzheimer&#39;s.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/17/448323916/can-a-cancer-drug-reverse-parkinsons-disease-and-dementia?ft=nprml&amp;f=448323916" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/can-cancer-drug-reverse-parkinsons-disease-and-dementia-113397 Exposure to insecticides may increase the risk of childhood cancers http://www.wbez.org/programs/point/2015-10-15/exposure-insecticides-may-increase-risk-childhood-cancers-113358 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/CANCER--baby.png" alt="" /><p><p>A new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049418/" target="_blank">meta-analysis</a>&nbsp;from the Harvard School of Public Health finds that exposure to insecticides&nbsp;in and around the home may increase kids&#39;&nbsp;risk of developing childhood cancers.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We find that for household members that report use of pesticides indoors, specifically insecticides, there is a more than 40% increased risk of childhood leukemia or childhood lymphoma,&rdquo; says Chensheng (Alex) Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health. &ldquo;Outdoor herbicide use also increased the risk of childhood leukemia 26 percent, but the association is not as strong as indoor insecticide use.&rdquo;</p><p>The study also found a weak link to childhood brain tumors, but its association to either indoor insecticide use or outdoor herbicide use was not as strong as leukemia or lymphoma, Lu says.</p><p>The researchers&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/pesticide-exposure-in-childhood-linked-to-cancer/" target="_blank">looked at data from 16 international studies</a>,&nbsp;comparing levels of pesticide exposure in groups of children with and without cancer.&nbsp;Indoor exposures included flea and tick pet collars, insect sprays and foggers, bait traps and commercial pest control services; outdoor exposures were mainly herbicides.</p><p>Lu had suspected that the recent uptick in childhood illnesses, particularly cancer, might be due to pesticide exposures in the home, but before this study&nbsp;the data wasn&rsquo;t there to support this theory.&nbsp;Now, says Lu, there is more cause for concern.&nbsp;</p><p>While Lu acknowledges his study&rsquo;s limitations &mdash; it examined only 16 relevant, previously published papers&nbsp;&mdash; he&nbsp;<a href="http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2015/09/indoor-pesticide-childhood-cancer" target="_blank">told WBUR in Boston</a>&nbsp;that his analysis showed &ldquo;consistent results in terms of the positive correlation between exposure to insecticides indoors and childhood cancer.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The worst-case scenario in terms of indoor pesticide use and human exposure is to use some kind of fogger,&rdquo; he continued. &ldquo;Also, some kind of open-air application, a broadcast application, a spray can &mdash; those are bound to be significant exposures.&rdquo;</p><p>The study does not aim to &ldquo;cause fear in parents,&rdquo; Lu told WBUR. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s to give [them] a precautionary principle that those exposures can be prevented, can be mitigated or can be completely removed.&rdquo;</p><p>Since the risk of disease increased with the frequency of insecticide use, the study&rsquo;s authors recommend that parents&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nrdc.org/health/pesticides/gpests.asp" target="_blank">reduce their children&rsquo;s exposure</a>&nbsp;by using natural pest controls, fixing holes where pests enter in window screens and foundations and, whenever possible, eliminating the use of indoor insecticides until more conclusive research emerges.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-15/exposure-insecticides-may-increase-risk-childhood-cancers" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s Living on Earth</em></a></p></p> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/point/2015-10-15/exposure-insecticides-may-increase-risk-childhood-cancers-113358 Electricity treatment offers hope to brain cancer patients http://www.wbez.org/news/electricity-treatment-offers-hope-brain-cancer-patients-113272 <p><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1009_novocure-farmers-market1-624x467.jpg" title="The Optune treatment is non-invasive and has few side effects, and though it looks like a bathing cap hooked up to a backpack, it kills cancer cells. (Courtesy of Novocure)" /></div><div><p>For the first time in more than a decade, there&rsquo;s a new treatment for patients diagnosed with one of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer, known as glioblastoma or GBM.&nbsp;More than 12,000 Americans are diagnosed annually and until now, the median life expectancy after diagnosis&nbsp;was about 15 months.</p><p>Unlike traditional treatments, which include chemotherapy and radiation, this new treatment is non-invasive, doesn&rsquo;t involve drugs and has few side effects. In fact, it looks a lot like an old-fashioned bathing cap hooked up to a backpack.</p><p>The treatment, called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.novocure.com/~/media/Files/N/Novocure/press-release/2015/201520-FDA-Approval_Final.pdf" target="_blank">Optune</a>&nbsp;and developed by the oncology company Novocure, delivers electricity directly to the areas of the brain affected by GBM tumors, and has shown promise both in extending life and shrinking tumors.</p><p>Optune performed so well during testing that clinical trials were halted to speed its delivery to the market. The treatment is not being touted as a cure, but as a new tool in extending life and slowing the spread of the disease.&nbsp;William Doyle, Novocure&rsquo;s executive chairman, discusses the treatment with<em>&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&#39;s&nbsp;</em>Jeremy Hobson.</p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>How does it work?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;We all know we have essentially three weapons against cancer today &ndash; surgery, radiation, drug therapy. Optune is a completely different fourth weapon, and it uses physical properties of electric fields specifically within cells. That&rsquo;s our name, Optune, because we have to tune these fields in order to get them into the cells we&rsquo;re interested in. Once we get the electrical fields into the cells, we can interfere with the proteins required for cell division, and instead of one cell becoming two and two becoming four, when we interfere with the machinery of cell division, one cell becomes zero, and that&rsquo;s how we fight cancer with Optune.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Is it meant to be used with other methods of treatment?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s one of the great things about Optune, because of course with the other three modalities, we hope for the increase in survival, but we have to worry about toxicity. With Optune, there&rsquo;s no systemic toxicity so we can add it, in particular, to drug therapies. We don&rsquo;t see any increase in the toxicity, and we see in many cases what&rsquo;s called synergy or a multiplication effect in terms of the efficacy.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>What can it do to extend life?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Today on standard therapy, a patient can expect to live a little over a year, that&rsquo;s the mean survival. In our trial we show that the survival was increased from about 15 months to about 20 months, in the median. But I think the number patients are more focused on is that the two-year survival was increased by 50 percent.</p><p><strong>Clinical trials were cut short to bring this to market. How much does it cost?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;There has not been an advance in glioblastoma in over a decade. This is an incredibly difficult cancer. It&rsquo;s a fact that oncology therapies are expensive &ndash; that&rsquo;s a great concern to patients. We&rsquo;ve in fact created a group within Novocare that works directly with patients and their insurance companies, we have extremely large patient assistance programs, so we work to make sure that every patient that&rsquo;s eligible for Optune receives it, regardless of income. The list price for Optune is $21,000 per month, including all the equipment and nurse support. So again, oncology therapies are expensive.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>In the future are you hoping to use this treatment for other kinds of tumors?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;The mechanism interfering with proteins of mitosis is universal to all cells, so once we tune our fields so that they enter the cell of interest, we can kill it. The limitation is back to the bandages. We need to be able to surround the region of the body with our transducer rays, so that means our targets are the deadly tumors of the brain, chest and abdomen. We have clinical trial programs in pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma&hellip; so we have a full range of targets for this therapy.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>How close are we to a&nbsp;cure?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Cure is a very difficult word to use, and what we&rsquo;re focused on is extending long-term survival. I will say the numbers we talked about earlier were medians. What that means is some patients do worse, other patients do much better. Another fact of the Optune therapy is that when it&rsquo;s on, it&rsquo;s killing cancer cells; when it&rsquo;s not on, it&rsquo;s not killing cancer cells. So patients on Optune do much better when they use it at least 18 hours per day, and we have seen patients with extended long-term survival. So I don&rsquo;t know when we will have a cure but I think using Optune in combination with other therapies offers hope that didn&rsquo;t exist previously.&rdquo;</p></div><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="386" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bpH_JxnVVSw" width="624"></iframe></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/09/electricity-brain-cancer-treatment" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/electricity-treatment-offers-hope-brain-cancer-patients-113272 Once a Catholic priest, now a father of two http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/once-catholic-priest-now-father-two-112313 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps Francis Alicia Riley bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Francis Riley was a Catholic priest during the late 1960s. Riley later left the priesthood and became a husband and father. He came to the Chicago StoryCorps booth in May with his wife Margaret and their daughter Alicia. Alicia asked her dad about the ways his time in the priesthood changed him.</p><p><em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p></p> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/once-catholic-priest-now-father-two-112313 Afternoon Shift: Suntans, skincare and ‘colorism’ http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-06-01/afternoon-shift-suntans-skincare-and-%E2%80%98colorism%E2%80%99-112120 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%20Alejandro%20Arango.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/Alejandro Arango)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208339373&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Cultural attitudes on sun exposure and skincare</span><br />June marks the arrival of sun tanning season and despite years of skin cancer warnings, many of us still can&rsquo;t get enough of the sun&rsquo;s browning rays. But not all cultures have the same love affair with the sun. They go to great lengths to avoid it, and sometimes not just for health reasons. We talk to Dr. June Robinson, a Research Professor of Dermatology at &nbsp;Northwestern&rsquo;s Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as scholars and activists who look at the issue of colorism.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-53dbac79-b126-d4b7-6b40-9815c43487bc"><a href="http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/faculty-profiles/az/profile.html?xid=12499">Dr. June Robinson</a></span> is a research professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-53dbac79-b126-d4b7-6b40-9815c43487bc"><a href="http://www.mills.edu/academics/faculty/soc/mhunter/mhunter.php">Margaret Hunter</a></span> is a professor of sociology at Mills College in Oakland, California.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-53dbac79-b126-d4b7-6b40-9815c43487bc"><a href="https://twitter.com/SLWrites">Sarah Webb</a></span> is a writer and activist, who created the site <a href="http://colorismhealing.org/">colorismhealing.org.</a> </em></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208339758&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">Challenges of urban beekeeping</span><br />Who would steal three hives full of live bees? Someone who knows how much they&rsquo;re worth, speculates beekeeper and founder of Bike a Bee, Jana Kinsman. Bee rustlers recently hit one of her hives on Chicago&rsquo;s southwest side in McKinley Park. Jana joins us to talk about the value of bees and their honey amid mass bee deaths around the world.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong><em> <a href="http://www.janakinsman.com/">Jana Kinsman</a> is a beekeeper and the founder of <a href="http://www.bikeabee.com/">Bike a Bee</a>.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341541&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">Federal legislation to ban microbeads receives bipartisan support</span><br />Those tiny scrubbing beads used in face wash and other cosmetics may soon be banned in the US. Great Lakes environmentalists have been concerned about their presence for years citing, among other concerns, fish confusing the plastic beads for food. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 has bipartisan support including from Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, and seeks to &ldquo;prohibit the sale or distribution of cosmetics containing synthetic plastic microbeads&rdquo; by January of 2018. Sherri Mason is an associate professor of chemistry at the State University of New York, Fredonia and has been studying this issue. She joins us to discuss the environmental impact of microbeads.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="http://www.fredonia.edu/chemistry/Faculty/Mason.asp">Dr. Sherri Mason</a> is a Professor of Chemistry at The State University of New York at Fredonia.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341632&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">Chicago strives for &#39;nerd&#39; status</span><br />Since coming into office, Mayor Emanuel has been pushing to make Chicago one of the nation&rsquo;s major tech hubs. But have we succeeded in becoming a so-called &ldquo;Nerdopolis?&rdquo; Amy Merrick is one of the authors of the article, &ldquo;Welcome to Nerdopolis&rdquo;, this summer&rsquo;s cover article for Capital Ideas, the research magazine for The University of Chicago&rsquo;s Booth School of Business. She joins us to discuss the state of tech in Chicago.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/amyjmerrick">Amy Merrick </a>is the co-author of &ldquo;Welcome to Nerdopolis,&rdquo; in Capital Ideas Magazine.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341924&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">Tech Shift: Thousands to take part in National Day of Civic Hacking</span><br />Thousands of people across the country are taking part in the third annual National Day of Civic Hacking. Groups in more than 100 cities will meet to design apps, websites and services to try to solve problems in their communities. Chicago is hosting four events in 2015, with goals from improving &nbsp;neighborhoods to creating more sustainable fisheries. Christopher Whitaker, the Chicago Brigade Captain for Code for America, and Steven Philpott, a Social Ventures Fellow at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, join us along with Kelly Borden, the Citizen Science Education Lead at Adler Planetarium, to fill us in on this year&rsquo;s event.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-53dbac79-b12d-8775-af9a-6da80f3e7ff8"><a href="https://twitter.com/civicwhitaker">Christopher Whitaker</a></span> is the Chicago Brigade Captain for Code for America.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-53dbac79-b12d-8775-af9a-6da80f3e7ff8"><a href="http://www.cnt.org/staff/steven-philpott">Steven Philpott</a></span> is the social ventures fellow for the Center for Neighborhood Technology.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-53dbac79-b12d-8775-af9a-6da80f3e7ff8"><a href="https://twitter.com/bordenkelly">Kelly Borden</a></span> is the citizen science education lead at Adler Planetarium.&nbsp;</em></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341561&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">Blackhawks head to Tampa for Stanley Cup play</span><br />The Blackhawks left for Tampa Bay on Monday to get ready for the Stanley Cup. Game One against the Lightning is Wednesday night. WBEZ&rsquo;s Cheryl Raye-Stout has more.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye-Stout</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341647&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">Projects abound for Chicago Transit Authority</span><br />The Yellow line is still down, a pilot program for Purple line express service to Evanston begins Monday, and debate continues over the Chicago Transit Authority&#39;s proposed Red and Purple Modernization project. Joining us for an update on some of what&#39;s going on with public transit is CTA spokesperson Brian Steele.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/brianksteele">Brian Steele </a>is a spokesperson for the CTA.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341639&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">EPA increase on ethanol impacts Midwest agriculture</span><br />If you thought Bears/Packers or Cubs/White Sox were big rivalries, that&rsquo;s nothing compared to Big Oil vs Big Corn. The two sides are locked in a battle over the amount of ethanol to be blended into the nation&rsquo;s fuel supply. The production of ethanol is vitally important to the agricultural economies of both Illinois and Indiana. The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it would increase the amount of ethanol used in gasoline but not as much as ethanol producers wanted. WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente joins us to discuss what new limits might mean for agriculture and the oil industry.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews">Mike Puente</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208341651&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 24px;">New cancer trial to focus on genetics</span><br />The details of a groundbreaking cancer study were announced Monday in Chicago, where researchers are meeting for the conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Most cancer treatment revolves around the type of cancer a patient has. But in a new trial starting in July, the focus will be on the genes. Patients will have their tumor genes sequenced in order to determine which drugs will be administered. Dr. Jeff Abrams, Acting Director for Clinical Research and Associate Director of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program in the National Cancer Institute&rsquo;s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, joins with details on the new trial.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="http://ctep.cancer.gov/branches/oad/bios/abrams.htm">Dr. Jeff Abrams</a> is NCI Acting Director for Clinical Research and also is Associate Director of the CTEP.</em></p></p> Mon, 01 Jun 2015 16:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-06-01/afternoon-shift-suntans-skincare-and-%E2%80%98colorism%E2%80%99-112120 Tight-knit family remembers their mom http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/tight-knit-family-remembers-their-mom-111859 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 150409 Moran Family bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Susan Moran couldn&rsquo;t leave the country to go to her mother&rsquo;s funeral in England.</p><p>Moran moved to the United States in the mid-nineties with her husband and kids. They tried to get a green card at that time, but when her mom died, Moran still didn&rsquo;t have the&nbsp; paperwork necessary to leave the U.S.</p><p>In May 2013, she was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. Four rounds of chemotherapy didn&rsquo;t eliminate it and it spread. She was given four months to live.</p><p>When Susan Moran visited the StoryCorps booth in 2013, her son Sean asked her how she wanted to spend the remainder of her life. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve got an amazing family,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;that won&rsquo;t let me go anywhere easily. That&rsquo;s for sure.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to go,&rdquo; Susan continued. &ldquo;Too many things to see.&rdquo;</p><p>At the time of the 2013 interview, Moran had just received a temporary green card, which enabled her to leave the country for the first time in 20 years, to travel to England to see her father, and her mother&rsquo;s grave.</p><p>As soon as she got back from that trip and touched down at the airport, she was in immense pain. She was driven straight from the airport to the hospital.</p><p>Susan Moran died January 28, 2014.</p><p>A little over a year after her death, her kids came back to the StoryCorps booth with their dad - Kailey Povier, 35, Liam Moran, 30, and Sean Moran, 32.</p><p>&ldquo;She had a very sweet voice,&rdquo; Sean Moran says, after re-listening to their earlier interview.</p><p>Liam says their mom didn&rsquo;t consider her own feelings enough. She was always too concerned with everyone else, and not worried enough about her own well-being, he says.</p><p>Sean Moran remembers the parties the family used to throw at their house. One time, in particular stood out in his mind: His mom&rsquo;s sister Jenny was visiting and they put &ldquo;Crazy&rdquo; by Cee-Lo Green on repeat. They&rsquo;d dance like mad and when it was over, they&rsquo;d hit repeat and start dancing again, trying to get others to dance with them the whole while.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;d think that it would be quiet,&rdquo; Kailey says, about her mom&rsquo;s last days. &ldquo;But it was a full house of family and friends.&rdquo; Kailey remembers a few days before her mom died, they were passing around a box of chocolates. Her mom could barely communicate, but she managed to lift a finger and point at the nurse. Everyone agrees: That was there mother&rsquo;s way of making sure her family offered the nurse some chocolate too.</p><p>&ldquo;She was always thinking of other people,&rdquo; Kailey says. &ldquo;We need mom here to help get us through this.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/tight-knit-family-remembers-their-mom-111859