Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. This is a huge weekend; opening weekend for college, and high school, football, Labor Day weekend, and the school year is underway. Busy, busy, busy.. For our part, we’ll have a couple updates on The James, comment on some community related events and wrap it up with a song in our hearts. To get us in the mood, here is permanent musical accompaniment by Maroon 5. Grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.
On this date, August 31st, one hundred years ago; the Western Fronts was at a stasis, with the Germans reaching Givet (northeastern France) while the French held the line at Meuse-Verdun. On the Eastern Front, the Battle of Tannenberg wrapped up as the Germans absolutely curb-stomped the Russian forces.
The James researchers are in the process of developing a new treatment method for pancreatic cancer.
An estimated 46,420 people in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014. Fortunately, research experts at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) are constantly innovating to find new ways to treat the disease.
This development could be significant. Of the 46, 420 people diagnosed each year with pancreatic cancer, almost 40,000 will die; a mortality rte of over 86%. Pancreatic cancer represents 3% of total cancer cases, but 7% of cancer deaths. Unfortunately, this particular cancer punches well above its weight.
Here’s an article on a treatment method using the measle virus, of all things.
The experimental virotherapy works by sending a bomb of viral cells which then bind to the cancer cells, eventually causing them to explode. Rather than using the smallest amount possible to trigger an immune response, the way vaccines are used, they target the tumor with enough of the virus to completely overwhelm the cancer, in this case enough for 10 million measles vaccines. The scientists explain that the virus cells “bind to tumors and use them as hosts to replicate their own genetic material; the cancer cells eventually explode and release the virus,” explains the Star Tribune. (I love the image of exploding cancer cells! Take that, cancer!!)
As you see, by reading the article, this method isn’t for everyone, but if it can be an efficient & effective treatment delivery system for a subset of patients, we’re well on our way.
Summer is winding down and I hope that you’ve taken advantage of local cultural and community events in your town. These are nice little getaways, weekend “staycations” and weekday “mental health” days that if you don’t take advantage of, you should.
For example, around town in the Buffalo environs, we have Larkin Square, Music on Main, Garden Walks, and jazz festivals, just to name a few events. We (my wife and I) have been to these and believe me, these are enjoyable experiences. It may be late in the year, although Fall Foliage will soon be upon us, but I suggest that if you haven’t already, plan to explore what your local communities have to offer.
I understand there are a few college football games this weekend. I don’t have much to say at this point, but I suggest that you check back in here later today, tomorrow and later this week for commentary/coverage.
We get a two’fer this week. It’s the end of summer and the beginning of football season. We have America’s quintessential summer band, The Beach Boys, and they tell us about the B1G’s Heroes and Villains.