Monday, November 14, 2011

On the Horizon?

Today a friend posted on facebook about some research that an Israeli firm is doing on making a cancer vaccine.  It is unusual in that it will be used as well for cancer treatment.  From the description, it sounds similar to the one described in the Roger Williams Medical trial that I entered my name in for the pool of guinea pigs.

Here's the link:  One of the things which causes me concern with this is that usually when you are modifying the person's cells (in this case T-cells) it is REALLY expensive because it is person specific, not the drugs that pharmaceutical companies can mass produce and give to the masses.....yet, I think that this is probably the best route to go for cancer treatment.

What scares me? Well, I'm worried that perhaps it will be the case of those who can afford it will get it and the rest of us will die.  I'm also a little concerned at how long it will take for this to be approved in the U.S.

Why? The U.S. is often very slow to approve things.  Take, for instance, my dental implants.  They were developed in Sweden by dentist who did it told me that they had been doing it for 30 years when I had mine done almost 20 years ago.  However, the insurance companies and the other "boards" in the U.S. said that they were "experimental."  Therefore, when I needed something to replace the partial plate I had been given when I was 17, the insurance paid a whopping $400, and this was on a $16,000 bill.

I also shiver when I think of what someone I knew in Connecticut went through.  She was dying from breast cancer, and there was a trial which looked like it might be promising for her.  Usually, such trials are done by lottery to be fair...however we were all aghast when someone who was fairly high in a Breast Cancer Foundation locally told her that SHE could get the friend into the trial, IF she would agree to work on the fundraiser in a specific way.

Sounded fishy at the time.....and it does make me wonder.

I am interested in this platform.  Hopefully it will work on many cancers.  I am hurt when I think of my friend Stephanie who is suffering from Pancreatic Cancer.  Nothing new has come down the pike for pancreatic cancer in many years.  Breast cancer has a lot of money and awareness going for it....some of the other cancers are less "sexy" and so they get less attention and less work done on them.  Some cancers are rare enough that pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in investing the money and time to develop drugs to treat them as they won't be profitable enough.

I don't think that one disease is any more important than any other....however, I will admit I'd really like them to get some drugs to help me ASAP on the shelf and in my blood stream.

Until then, I'll look on the horizons and just wonder at the beautiful skys that one can see here on the Fly-over state of Ohio.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I found you by researching the web for long time survivors of Stage 4 Breast Cancer. I'm a new diagnosed patient..end of sept. I'm going thru all the emotions and feelings I'm sure you know all to well. I would like to communicate, it seems we are a lonely bunch! my email is