Cancer is defined as a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Lately it seems too many people are dealing with cancer. Although cancer is not the number one cause of death in the world (heart disease is) nonetheless we seem to fear cancer the most. Currently there are 18 million new cases of cancer each year and 8.2 million deaths.
Immunotherapy is the new treatment that trains the patient’s immune system to fight cancer itself and getting around the issues of the patient’s immune system reacting to drugs.
Recently Israeli scientists boldly claimed they will develop a cure for cancer within the next year. Not surprising, their optimism is not shared by leaders of cancer care and treatment. Yet the Israeli scientists are not discouraged as they attempt to take immunotherapy to the next level by utilizing amino acids connected in a chain, called peptides to bind cancer cells like an octopus attacking tumors from multiple angles. The peptides are slight enough to target specific sites without affecting surrounding areas and are able to reach areas that are too big for the immune antibody molecules to reach. Due to the peptides delicateness they are not expected to disrupt the patient’s immune system, which may prevent nausea and other side effects common to cancer treatments. At present three peptides are used in targeting hormones that feed cancer tumors, however other drugs are used to do the tumor killing.
So far, the Israeli scientists, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies LTD, have only performed one study on mice with no human clinical trials. Let’s hope they are not constrained by endless red tape as they work towards a long awaited medical cure.
Another advancement in the cancer fighting quest is a test called CancerSEEK, which is a blood test that can detect eight common types of cancer by looking for a number of compounds in the blood that are thought to be early signs of cancer. This is more advanced than the previously developed “liquid biopsy” tests, since CancerSeek looks at genes, associated with tumors and proteins to get more accurate results across a wider range of cancers, including five cancers in which screening tests are not currently available: ovarian, stomach, esophageal, liver and pancreatic. The other three cancers screenings included include breast, colorectal and lung.
In a clinical study 1,000 patients with known diagnoses of cancer, which hadn’t metastasized, along with 800 healthy patients without cancer were tested. The test detected cancer with a 69 to 98 percent accuracy. The accuracy increased dependent on the advancement of the cancer. CancerSEEK was best at detecting stage II or III cancers, primary tumors that hadn’t metastasized but were getting large. However stage I cancers were detected only 42 percent of the time and stage I and II cancers combined were detected around 60 percent. Since early detection usually offers the best chance to beat cancer, work is being done to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of this test, by using additional types of biomarkers, in order to more accurately detect early stage cancers.
Hopefully one day soon it will be as easy for doctors to order a blood test to screen for these common forms of cancer as it now is to order a test for blood glucose or cholesterol. That would give many more people their best chance to beat cancer before it spreads. Imagine if early testing became so accurate and the Israeli peptides did arrest cancer how much brighter the future of 18 million people and their families each year would be.
This Monday, March 4, from 6-8:30 p.m. is “An Evening with the Arts” at the Versailles School. The Music Boosters will be offering soups, sandwiches and homemade desserts from 5:30-8 p.m. in the school cafetorium. Proceeds benefit band summer camps.
Remember Community Meals are every Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran 4-7 p.m. and Bid Euchre Tournament in the Vet’s Club’s downstairs from 7-8:45 p.m. every Thursday.
Mark your calendar to attend the Trinity Lutheran Spaghetti Dinner next Sunday, March 10, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and the American Legion Chicken Fry starting at 4 p.m.
Happy birthday to Bea Burke (87), Bethanie Bubeck, Heather Rees, Michelle Pleiman, Brenda Smith, Fischer Spencer, Leah Jo Clark, Elaine Langston, Shawn Unger, Tammy Shafer, Amanda Riley, Dustin Lewis, Hayden Bartrum, Lois Ann Baker, Angela Moeder, Brenda Schmitmeyer, Craig Stammen, Betty Mescher, Dan Hartzell, Deb Schafer, Norma Bruner, Annette Hope, Yolandaleah Olding, Marty Schipfer, Amanda Borchers, Karen Moeller, Tom Eilerman, Leslie Rismiller, Larry Simons, Stacie Schmitmeyer, Don Hope, Dave Hope, Sonja Francis, Missy Francis, Michele Waymire, Dan Seibert, Dave and Dan Hope, Jan Monnin, and Julie Francis. Anniversary wishes to Pauline and Sylvester Meyer (6), Carla and Rick Rittenhouse, Cindy and Nick Eilerman (37).
Good luck to all the Versailles teams as many of them compete at State.
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially Ruth Pierron, Julia Billenstein, Doris Monnin, for newborn Reagan Otte, Lois Kindell, Chloe Grilliot, Sally Coomer, Renee Zumberger, Don Henry, Dawn (Marvin) Luthman, Frank Fullenkamp, Jeff O’Reilly, Norma Parin, Gary Daniel, Sharron Salley, Carol Frey, Barb Kissinger, Cali Groff, Gene Oliver, Jack Hale, Janice Berger, Violet Bensman, Fr. John White, Kellie Gehret, Jane Meier, Donna Apple, Michelle Sherman, Miriam Harman, Bob Miller, Iona Gariety, Aiden Myers, Cyril Frantz, Carol Laub, Peggy Borgerding, Norma Magoto, Samantha Smith, Virginia Smith, Mary Huelskamp, Anabelle Subler, Barb Goubeaux, and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, under medical care, and/or are in need of our prayers.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends of April Brocious (45), Shelia Netzley (59), Dennis “Red” Seger (64), Don Forbes (64), Paddy Cox (66), Ron Schoenlein (66), Cynthia Schmieising (67), Joseph Magoto (68), Robert Barton (78). Also remembering and keeping in our hearts the memories of Thomas Crandall, Deborah Bubeck, Amelia Ginter, Carl Broerman, Joseph Martino, Frances Klenke, James Lennon, Judith Anne Gillette Doan, Dorvan Phlipot, Lawrence Gehret, Ralph Ording, Gus Barga, James Williams, Doris Harman, Tony Cordonnier, Joan Voisard, Suzanne Elifritz, Clarence Poeppelman, Alma Gehret and all those who are in our hearts, but not mentioned by name, as the anniversary of their passing nears.
“There is a ‘can’ in cancer because we can beat it.” ~Unknown
“What cancer cannot do? Cancer is so limited. It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot destroy peace. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot suppress memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot destroy eternal life. It cannot conquer the spirit.”
“Cancer is only a chapter in one’s life. It’s not the whole story.”
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Friday Versailles community column. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.