Here’s a quick summary of notable recent health and cancer news:
Jimmy Carter, Melanoma, and Immunotherapy Research at SCCA
Last week KOMO News’ Molly Shen interviewed SCCA’s Dr. Shailender Bhatia about Jimmy Carter’s recent melanoma diagnosis and his successful treatment thus far. The drug that Carter is being treated with–pembrolizumab–was tested in a clinical trial here at SCCA several years ago. Shen also interviews SCCA patient David Dunnington, who was diagnosed in 2012 with melanoma and who has also responded well to immunotherapy. See the KOMO News report here. CNN has a good article and several video clips from Carter’s press conference in September where he talked about his diagnosis. And Forbes has an article that looks at Carter’s treatment and considers immunotherapy for elderly patients in general.
The Implant That Helps Fight Cancer
The Atlantic provides an object lesson about the medical port and how it has transformed delivering chemotherapy to cancer patients.
It sits under the skin, nearly attached to the heart, intimately part of the cancer patient… When the drugs enter there, they are drawn quickly into the heart and propelled efficiently throughout the body—less damage, faster circulation.
An Update on Katie Collier
Last week the Seattle Times ran a nice article about UW basketball star and SCCA survivor Katie Collier. Collier was diagnosed with APL in 2011 and underwent treatment here at SCCA under the supervision of Dr. Eli Estey.
She’s in remission and focused on reclaiming a basketball career that once showed so much promise. “I think about the cancer — all of it — every day,” Collier said. “But it’s not a negative thing, it’s a positive thing. “I’ve never felt more exhausted in my life than I was going through chemo. Knowing I’m healthy now, I think, ‘If I can get through that, then what can’t I do?’ ”
In other cancer and health-related news:
Last month the World Health Organization warned that processed meat is a major cause of cancer. Earlier this week The Guardian reported that since that announcement, sales of sausage and bacon were down by nearly 16% in the United Kingdom. The New York Times writes about a study published in PLOS One that shows that pigeons are pretty good at identifying tumors. And Slate reports on two studies that show why elephants don’t get cancer.