Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beantown Breakthrough

This is very cool.

The medical minds over at MIT have come up with a potentially life-saving device in the battle against cancer. Dr. Omid Farokhzad and Dr. Robert Langer created an effective approach to cancer treatments by using targeted nanoparticles called BIND-014. These nanoparticles act as drones who seek out and deliver cancer killing medicines to cancer cells only. This could be the big Kahuna for cancer treatment.

What really caught my attention was the story of a woman cancer patient in this morning's Boston Herald. She had failed chemotherapy and radiation treatments and had exhausted all other options for her diagnosed stage two cervical cancer. Evelyn Sorensen was told by her doctors that she had about a year to set her affairs in order. She was urged to take a vacation, say goodbye to friends and family and prepare for the worst. The 47-year-old demanded to see a list of clinical trials from her radiologist and spotted the BIND-Bioscience trial, based in Cambridge.

Sorensen, who lived in Cambridge in the 1990's, joined the trial in August. "People in Cambridge really know what they are doing," Sorensen said. What she didn't know was that serendipitous moment would change the course of her life and reverse her death sentence. Her tumors shrank by 70 percent after her first treatment. Sorensen reported to no horrid side effects such as nauseua and hair loss. She even joked about the docs slipping her a "placebo mickey" because she felt no ill effects. In the six months since the trial, Evelyn's body has no cancer and is still taking the medication to stay that way. She is now strong enough to return to work and is exersicing regularly. Her family is amazed at how far she's come in six months. "I'm starting to feel like my old self," she said.

Thank God for medicine, money and the brilliant minds who devote their lives to making incredible science. BIND-014 is very interesting and how it works was explained to me like this:

-Imagine these nanoparticles like microscopic robots who have a targeted, cancer-detecting "GPS'".

-These microscopic robots have their work cut out for them. Our immune system is designed to stop them before they get to the cancer. Like a division of our armed forces elite, these tiny robots must be quick and stealth to evade the immune system.

-When they reach their target they release their cancer-killing medicine, then slowly biodegrade and get absorbed safely in the body.

One can only hope that his breakthrough brings life and hope for so many battling this devastating disease.


Denis Verdecia said...

Holy Shit! Really? Why has this not made national news? This is freakin HUGE!

Anonymous said...

I am going to copy and send to a friend. She has survived cancer three different times already. Very cool.

the walking man said...

I really really want to say something political here about the conservatives budget and it gutting R&D but I think I will stick to religion and just say Hope you have a great holiday week end Candace with your family all around you safe and whole.

That is great news about the cancer treatment though. My mom went through 13 different chemos before she finally said No Mas. That woman had cajones.

Slyde said...

THat's AMAZING....

but how come when i hear you talking all scientific like this, i keep picturing you in a sexy librarian outfit?

Cora said...

That is absolutely incredible!

BeckEye said...

This is really cool. I wonder if THE MAN (the medical establishment) will come up with some excuse for not approving this treatment or at least making it unaffordable for most people.

OK, well, I'm late for my conspiracy theory meeting under the bridge.