JoNova

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A first: one patient’s widespread cancer treated with an engineered virus

Myeloma Cells | Wikimedia

This is another example of why I’m so passionate about getting research money out of dead-end efforts to change the weather and into medical research. The extraordinary news broke last week that the Mayo Clinic had used a genetically modified virus to cure treat one woman of metastasized and widely spread cancer – specifically myeloma. There are a lot of caveats, this research is quite risky, and it doesn’t apply to most people or most cancers, it is a proof of principle.

The potential for transformative medical breakthroughs is spectacular right now.  Medicine is, after all, just an information game. The information is expensive but the material resources are dirt cheap — all the answers to the holy grail of the fountain of health are found in rearrangements of common elements — like the kind found in the dirt of a pot-plant. For the first time humanity has the tools to hunt and hammer out the information. If people knew what glittering marvels were within reach, they surely would want to channel our best and brightest and all our spare resources.

The  main caveat here (a pretty big one) is that the trial had only two people, and it didn’t help the other person very much. Another caveat is that both people didn’t have antibodies to the measles virus used — and most people would. Other problems with viral treatments are that our immune systems attack the viruses, sometimes before the viruses can act, sometimes the viruses just wash away from the site, then there’s the risk that viruses can mutate. Live viruses can also potentially set up chronic low grade infections in unexpected places. Indeed we are playing with fire. Jesse Gelsinger was 18 when he took part in a medical trial in 1999, and was injected with a “safe” viral vector, he suffered a massive immune response and major organ failure leading to his very premature death four days later. This shocked the research world.

On the other hand, cancer is one of the top two killers in the Western World. The weapons we throw at it are awfully blunt. But theoretically even late stage cancer could be cleared within weeks from a body if the immune system (or a virus) could target just the cancer cells.

I find the possibilities tantalizing. It’s why I studied molecular biology and genetic engineering. One day people will visit their doctor to hear they have aggressive disseminated bowel cancer, say, but they will only need to take an injection and spend a week in hospital with ongoing monitoring. Why aren’t we moving mountains to make this happen?

From the Washington Post ( hyped and lacking in details that I would like to see):

Her name is Stacy Erholtz. For years, the 50-year-old mom from Pequot Lakes, Minn., battled myeloma, a blood cancer that affects bone marrow. She had few options left.

She had been through chemotherapy treatments and two stem cell transplants. But it wasn’t enough. Soon, scans showed she had tumors growing all over her body.

Five minutes into the hour-long process, Erholtz got a terrible headache. Two hours later, she started shaking and vomiting. Her temperature hit 105 degrees… Over the next several weeks, the tumor on her forehead disappeared completely and, over time, the other tumors in her body did, too.

From the Mayo Clinic: Taming Measles Virus to Create an Effective Cancer Therapeutic

May 13, 2014: In this issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Russell et al4 from Mayo Clinic report, for the first time, the use of a cytolytic replicating MV to completely eliminate widespread tumors in a patient with advanced incurable myeloma.

This is not a cure yet

The Cancer Research UK blog tells us that that Stacy Erholtz forehead tumor disappeared for nine months, which they describe as “an incredible outcome” but it has returned and is being managed by radiotherapy. Which all seems rather important, and ought to be mentioned in all the stories you would think. For those who want more info, the Cancer Research UK post seems to be the most balanced and informed.

Why the measles virus was chosen:

The choice of MV as a therapeutic agent for myeloma was not happenstance, but rather the result of several years of thoughtful biological experimentation and rational virus engineering. Russell et al recognized several features of myeloma that would complement the life cycle of MV. Myeloma is the second most common hematologic malignancy in North America, and although treatable, it is essentially an incurable disease with a 5-year survival rate of less than 40%. A hallmark of the disease is the seeding of malignant plasma cells throughout the bone marrow, ultimately impairing the production of normal blood cells and creating lesions in the bone (see Figure 2, A in Russell et al4).

During natural infections, MV gains access to the bone marrow through infection of the reticuloendothelial system, thus making it an ideal agent to attack myeloma cells exactly where they hide. CD46, a cell surface antigen, is the receptor for MV and is highly overexpressed on the surface of myeloma cells, making them prime targets of infection.5 Measles virus is rapidly neutralized and inactivated in the bloodstream by antibodies that arise following vaccination or natural infections.6 Neutralizing antibodies provide a safety shield against MV infections for most North Americans. In many myeloma patients, however, neutralizing antibodies directed against MV are at very low levels or absent because both the disease and the current therapies used to treat it are immunosuppressive.

Though this study only has a trial of two patients there are many other studies going on with other viruses, other clinics and other cancers. Here’s one, announced this week.

Herpes-loaded stem cells used to kill brain tumors (in mice)

[Harvard May 16th, 2014]

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have a potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumor cells using cancer-killing viruses. The investigators report that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumors significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumor in human adults and also the most difficult to treat.

The work, led by Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, an HSCI Principal Faculty member, is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Shah heads the Molecular Neurotherapy and Imaging Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Cancer-killing or oncolytic viruses have been used in numerous phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for brain tumors but with limited success. In preclinical studies, oncolytic herpes simplex viruses seemed especially promising, as they naturally infect dividing brain cells. However, the therapy hasn’t translated as well for human patients. The problem previous researchers couldn’t overcome was how to keep the herpes viruses at the tumor site long enough to work.

Shah and his team turned to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) — a type of stem cell that gives rise to bone marrow tissue — which have been very attractive drug delivery vehicles because they trigger a minimal immune response and can be utilized to carry oncolytic viruses. Shah and his team loaded the herpes virus into human MSCs and injected the cells into glioblastoma tumors developed in mice. Using multiple imaging markers, it was possible to watch the virus as it passed from the stem cells to the first layer of brain tumor cells and subsequently into all of the tumor cells.

Ideally, if we use viruses, I’d like to see a two stage process where the viruses were themselves removed after the treatment. Perhaps we could combine the virus dosage with something that shielded it from the immune system, and after the cancer was cleared we could unshield it and let the immune system mop up the virus too. That might also help with people who were immune to the therapeutic virus to start with.

 

h/t to Robert who keeps prodding me with the most interesting medical news.

This post is dedicated to Jaymez. We don’t just want a treatment. We want a cure.

REFERENCES

Bell, J., (2014) Taming Measles Virus to Create an Effective Cancer Therapeutic, Mayo Clinic Proceedings. in press. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.04.009 [Mayo Clinic online article]

Russell, S.J., Federspiel, M.J., Peng, K.-W. et al. Remission of disseminated cancer after systemic oncolytic virotherapy. Mayo Clin Proc. 2014; 89 (XXX-XXX)

Duebgen, M., et. al. Stem cells loaded with multimechanistic oncolytic herpes simplex virus variants for brain tumor therapy. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. June 2014. (Early access May 16, 2014)

Image: Wikimedia, Photo:  Dr Erhabor Osaro

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111 comments to A first: one patient’s widespread cancer treated with an engineered virus

  • #
    the Griss

    Perhaps we could persuade the Government to put more funds into medical research. !! ;-)

    Why anyone would waste money trying to stop warming, when its already started to cool, is beyond my comprehension.

    But as the old tv show title goes… “some mothers do ‘ave them”

    Crawford played a role with way more intelligence than the typical climate scientist.

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  • #
    sophocles

    Wow.

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  • #
    Rohan

    Thanks for the post Jo. My mother has myeloma which amongst other complications left her an incomplete paraplegic. I’ve just forwarded them this link and to the Mayo clinic article. Yes it’s not yet a cure and I understand the caveats, but it’s a massive step in the right direction.

    With what she’s been through (the complications as a result of collapsed vertebra nearly killed her and she was hospitalised for nearly 8 months in total), she and others like her deserve a little hope.

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  • #
    ROM

    As I had to have radiation treatment for an aggressive form of Prostate cancer some three years ago, fortunately found very early while getting another medical ailment treated so no chemo was required.
    Consequently I also am very interested in any advances in cancer research.

    The cancer research field is moving very fast with a number of new types of treatments being investigated.

    One of these that took my eye was the use of the avian [ bird ] virus, New Castle disease Virus which when injected heads off to some of the various types of cancer cells which it then infects and has the potential to destroy..

    A few links which you can read for yourself
    ________________________

    What is Newcastle disease?
    [ quoted ]
    Newcastle disease (ND) is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic poultry, cage and aviary birds and wild birds. It is characterised by digestive, respiratory and/or nervous signs. The disease has a number of strains that differ in the severity of their clinical signs, ranging from inapparent infection (low virulence) to a rapidly fatal (highly virulent) condition.
    [ more ]
    ____________________

    The laypersons article on New Castle Disease and Prostate cancer . Feb 2013

    Virus That Kills Prostate Cancer Cells Shows Treatment Potential
    [ quoted ]
    A modified Newcastle disease virus that targets and kills all types of prostate cancer cells and leaves normal cells untouched shows promise as a cancer treatment that avoids the side effects which normally accompany hormonal treatment and chemotherapies, says a team of veterinary scientists in the US.
    [ more ]
    _____________________

    Effects of Newcastle Disease Virus on Human Cancer Cells

    ______________________

    Oncolytic Newcastle Disease Virus for Cancer Therapy

    It was from the records of those old medico’s who had no antibiotics or any of the modern medical treatments so they kept some very good records in case they came across something that they could use later on.
    They recorded that sometimes the terminal ill with what they knew was cancer which was totally incurable in those times, suddenly just seemed to recover with a partial or even rarely, a total remission of the cancer.
    They observed that this occurred only after the patient had a bout of another serious illness.

    The cancer researchers have been trawling through these old medico’s records to see if they can pick up some clues and the New Castle Disease Virus and it’s potential, emphasis still on “potential” curative properties for cancer came about because of those old medico’s record keeping and the willingness of some modern cancer researchers to respect those old medicos and try to learn from them.

    Quoted; Note that this item of medical information comes from 1904.

    “The most striking sign of leukemia, the excess of leukocytes, disappears, and sometimes the spleen and lymph glands return to their normal size. Yet that the change is not wholly favorable appears from the fact that no case has really recovered … Considering the hopelessness of the ordinary treatment of leukemia, it seems that carefully planned experiments, either with bacterial products or organ extracts, might show a more safe and permanent result.”

    – Dock G (1904).[1]

    [ More from the main article ];
    The idea of using bacteria and viruses for treatment of human malignancies initially stemmed from observations during the mid-1800s of tumor regressions that were associated with natural infections.[1] Development of cell and virus culture techniques in the early 1950s led to intensive exploration of virus therapy in small animal tumor models and eventually in humans.[2] Due to significant virulence associated with the use of some of the human pathogens, animal viruses were explored as an alternative, with Newcastle disease virus (NDV) becoming a promising oncolytic agent.[3–13] This review will summarize the developments in the field of NDV cancer therapy, including the delineation of the mechanism of its oncolytic specificity, clinical trials and recent advancements with the advent of genetic engineering.

    1 of 8 pages.

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    • #
      the Griss

      I went to Newcastle once..

      I didn’t think it was that bad. !

      Certainly, calling it a disease is possibly a bit over the top. :-)

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    • #
      Bob Malloy

      Have just skimmed through the comments to see if anyone had linked to the 7 year old girl that was treated for Leukaemia with good results from modified HIV virus.

      A little surprised to find no link and that Jo had not mentioned it in the article as it virtually identical treatment, just using a different virus as the base.

      20

      • #
        Bob Malloy

        As Jo did mention the treatment does not work for everybody, from a separate story in the British papers.

        She was one of a dozen people to have had the treatment. Three adults also had complete remissions, with two of them now clear of cancer for more than two years.

        Four other adults showed improvements but did not go into complete remission. One child improved but then relapsed, and the treatment did not work for two adults.

        00

        • #
          bananabender

          It is common for pharmaceutical treatments to be (much) less effective than predicted as the treatment group expands. Many drugs have been shown to be highly effective during clinical trials and dangerous and ineffective when widely prescribed (eg Hormone replacement Therapy). It is largely a matter of statistics – the smaller the sample size the more likely the positive results are due to chance alone (and the less likely that rare side effects will be detected).

          In the case of this melanoma treatment I suspect the apparent benefits are simply a statistical anomaly result due to the very small sample size.

          00

    • #
      janama

      ROM a friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Their treatment involved complete removal of his sex organs at a cost of $30,000.
      He went to Germany and had radiowave treatment and is now fully recovered and fully functional and it cost $11,000.

      00

      • #
        Bob Malloy

        I recall radio wave treatment getting some publicity in Australia more than a decade ago, with several patients reporting exceptional results.

        Despite the large number of satisfied patients, the medical societies overwhelmingly downplayed it’s reported successful treatment of cancer. Dr Holt at the time was looking for others to carry on his research because he was ageing and disheartened.

        http://www.holtclinic.com/

        00

  • #
    bananabender

    Sorry Jo but I have to vehemently disagree. Medical research, for the most part, is a bottomless funding pit that very rarely produces anything of real value – just like climate science. The most likely outcome of greater funding is more waste, more bad science and even more fraud (already at epidemic levels). [A few years ago a leading Australian researcher said that the real purpose of medical research is to produce more PhDs rather than curing diseases.] Currently universities produce about 6x too many medical research PhDs.

    Even leading researchers have being saying that the Medical Future Fund is a dud. There is a massive amount of global medical research funding and $20 billion won’t make a lot of difference. It is the equivalent of Australia launching it’s own space programme; interesting but ultimately pointless.

    Unfortunately the example you gave above is probably nothing more than an outlier. When full scale clinical trials are conducted the probability that this ‘miracle’ treatment will turn out to be ineffective is very high. This is what happens to the vast majority of ‘breakthrough’ treatments. In most cases researchers are simply using their well-oiled PR machines to cynically extract further funding from a gullible public.

    Researchers now know that literally every cancer is a unique disease with different outcomes for every patient. The US National Institutes of Health even declared the 1971 ‘War on Cancer’ as a multi-billion dollar exercise in futility 25 years later.

    Back in 2002 Nobel Laureate immunologist Professor Peter Doherty said that he didn’t the Human Genome Project to yield any tangible results before the 2050s.

    We actually have a spectacularly effective way to treat most non-infectious diseases – a healthy lifestyle. Yet 500x as much money is spent into medical research to (ineffectively) treat the symptoms of illness as to prevent diseases.

    Nutrition researchers have know for over 60 years that the most effective way to prevent heart disease is to eat a low fat plant based diet (ignore the cherry picking and pseudoscientific claims of totally unqualified writers like Gary Taubes) and be physically active. Yet no Western medical school gives students even a basic grounding in either nutrition or exercise science.

    There is a considerable body of published scientific evidence that shows dietary and exercise interventions are at least as effective as existing drugs to treat heart disease, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, obesity and many other non-infectious diseases. Better still they are free of adverse symptoms and cost virtually nothing. Yet the vast majority of medical practitioners are almost completely unaware of these studies [in fact they often falsely claim that no such evidence even exists.]

    Medicare is happy to subsidise many expensive, potentially dangerous and essentially worthless surgical (angioplastly) and drug treatments (antidepressants). [eg all antidepressant are now considered to be little more than placebos and research into developing new antidepressants has basically ended.] Yet Medicare is extremely reluctant to spend a few hundred dollars to allow patients access to dietitians or exercise physiologists.

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    • #

      Bananabender — good to have a debate. You’re on.

      Currently universities produce about 6x too many medical research PhDs.

      According to who?

      …the example is probably nothing more than an outlier.

      Not an outlier, but the tip of the iceberg.Other trials currently underway on different cancers and with different viruses, from the first page of a google search:

      • Oncolytic Viruses for Cancer Therapy: Overcoming the Obstacles Jan 2010
      • Herpes to the Rescue: A New Form of Cancer Treatment that Utilizes Viruses Nov 2013
      • Drug activates virus against cancer Oct 2013
      • A virus that kills cancer: the cure that’s waiting in the cold Aug 2012
      • Common cold virus could help treat cancer Jan 2014
      • We actually have a spectacularly effective way to treat most non-infectious diseases

        I’m a big fan of preventative health care. But why not do both? This is not an either/or choice. As for spectacular? Diet is estimated to be responsible for 30% of cancer. With exercise that may reach 50%. But there are still half of cancers caused by other factors – like oncoviruses, pollutants, etc.

        Calorie restriction CRON probably makes tthe largest difference (not properly trialled though) and is a tough road to follow. Which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aim for it, or promote it, but it won’t cure cancer necessarily even if people could stick to it.

        None of these things is an answer to four year olds with brain tumors.

        Nutrition researchers have know for over 60 years that the most effective way to prevent heart disease is to eat a low fat plant based diet

        See my comment at #9.1 about methionine restricted diets and some cancers. True. Doesn’t work for all.
        Diets by simple macronutrient type have failed. Fat is not just fat, there are long chain, short chain, omega 3 6 9 and trans fats, and they all have different effects. Carbohydrate is not just carbohydrate either. White bread and pasta are low fat and plant based and both a lousy anti-cancer diet.

        Harvard:

        “The low-fat, high-starch diet that was the focus of dietary advice during the 1990s-as reflected by the USDA food guide pyramid-is dying out. A growing body of evidence has been pointing to its inadequacy for weight loss or prevention of heart disease and several cancers. The final nail in the coffin comes from an eight-year trial that included almost 49,000 women….The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed no benefits for a low-fat diet.”

        As for Peter Doherty’s prediction in 2002, ten years before that the experts didn’t even think the Human Genome Project would be finished by 2002, but it was finished five years sooner than expected. So much for predictions in medicine. Many researchers didn’t think it was possible to clone mammal adult cells, then one team went ahead and did it. As it happens, Doherty thinks the majority view of climate science is the correct one. His is not an opinion I seek out. I could find a dozen who would predict the HGP will transform medicine. It doesn’t mean much.

        I very much agree that government funding is prone to waste and mismanagement. But some forms of medical research — especially the natural and preventative kinds don’t lend themselves to private financing. That’s why — last time I mentioned this, I suggested ways to minimize corruption. I accept the Medical Future Fund might not be the best structure (why are governments investing and holding funds?) All these points are up for discussion.

        As for every cancer being different, yes and no. There are some obstacles every cancer cell must overcome in order to stay alive. Some factors like telomerase, tNox, P53 are common to many different types. This is not easy, but it’s not impossible.

        There is a massive amount of global medical research funding and $20 billion won’t make a lot of difference

        Same argument applies to every other field of science — so we should give up on all them and just pay the royalties instead?

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    • #
      tom0mason

      Sorry bananabender but I have to vehemently disagree.

      I would prefer every one of my tax-thieved ‘climate change’ dollars go on medical research – and then some more! It can not be as big a waste of resourses that the ‘climate change’ mass fraud currently is.
      If only 1 dollar in a million made the difference medically it would still be a massive payback compared to any money throw down the drain of the CAGW fraud and the UN-IPCC (IMO they both should be defunded entirely ASAP).

      Medical research has the massive advantage of being about a real problems not just the fonie-flunky-UN-drive-fairytale-scare-story nonsence.

      Medical research holds out real hope for people in dire need. It may one day make that break-though and make the difference in the field that you, or your relatives, or friends need it to.
      Climate science OTOH is a hopeless piss-your-money-down-a-hole and get NOTHING in return.

      Sorry bananabender you are just so far of the mark it is unbelievable.

      Thanks Jo for the heads-up in what is happening in medical research.

      101

    • #

      I agree that a lot of money is wasted by medical researchers.

      However, their is a huge difference between medical research and climate research: medical research is trying to find cures for diseases which kill people whereas climate scientists waste money on a non-existent threat!

      On June 2, 2014 it will have been five years since I was diagnosed with lymphoma. At that point I will be considered “cured.” The treatment I received was the standard R-CHOP5 treatment that had been around, with a few modifications, for a couple of decades! That was followed by radiation treatment. If they had not done research to develop the treatment I received I would be dead. Obviously, I have no problem with researchers finding more effective treatment options or, even better, a cure.

      The only way to improve cancer treatment and hopefully find a cure is to conduct research. The “cure” I received also increased my chance of getting cancer! That is unacceptable!

      I have no doubt that a lot of money is wasted in various research projects. The solution is not to end necessary research projects but instead to reform the process and end the waste! Trust me, if you are diagnosed with cancer sometime in the future you will want researchers to have found a cure or at least better treatment options that would increase your chances of beating it!

      In order to clean up the research industry, and it is an industry, we need to change the way major pharmaceutical do business. In the US, big pharmaceutical companies are allowed to “contribute” money to the FDA. Wow! Could there be a clearer instance of a potential conflict of interest?

      A perfect example is the case of Dr. Burzynski. He came up with an inexpensive treatment for various types of cancer and the State of Texas and the FDA went after him. It was absolutely scandalous. Then, a major pharmaceutical company tried to steal his patents. Why? it was, is and always will be about the money. Dr. Burzynski had not only developed a more effective treatment for some forms of cancers he was cutting into the profit margins of some very powerful pharmaceutical companies! For a real eye opening movie see http://www.burzynskimovie.com/.

      Jo is right, why waste money on fighting a non-existent problem, global warming, when there are real problems that can affect us all?

      Many lives have been lost because money that was needed to fund legitimate research was wasted on bogus research, including global warming.

      Then of course their is the use of junk science research that has killed millions. The war on DDT and genetically modified foods are a couple of examples that come to mind.

      We as humans think we are so advanced. We are not. If we were the BS referenced above wouldn’t be occurring!

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    • #
      Jaymez

      Bananabender – You have a lot of relevant general points about diet and exercise being the best preventative medicine, but I find it hard to believe: “Yet the vast majority of medical practitioners are almost completely unaware of these studies [in fact they often falsely claim that no such evidence even exists.]” With regards to the “published scientific evidence that shows dietary and exercise interventions are at least as effective as existing drugs to treat heart disease, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, obesity and many other non-infectious diseases.”

      I have two children in their mid to late 20′s now, but having looked at their homework and assignments from primary and secondary school in Australia, I know there was a great deal of coverage on diet, nutrition and exercise and general health benefits in their curriculum.

      So it is hard for the average Australian to claim they are unaware of the health benefits of a good diet and exercise, much less medical practitioners.

      I think the biggest problem is of course getting people to comply with a good health and exercise regime.

      However I was struck with a blood cancer at the healthiest time in my life when I wasn’t overweight, had a good diet and exercised daily. I was a black belted Taekwondo instructor, active swimmer, part time sports coach, runner and cyclist. Not that I was an elite athlete, but I also note the number of elite athletes whose diet and exercise regimes would be exemplary, who become victims of cancer.

      This type of research at least unlike climate science is tackling a real existing problem which has the potential to be fixed!

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      markx

      I strongly disagree with Bender.
      The level of understanding and the breakthroughs that are coming from DNA work and PCR diagnostcs are astonishing. To see the now routine nature of the procedures these young PhD researchers carry out, and to read publications explaining in detail what is happening in immunological and physiological processes leafs me to realize that we are at the dawn of a great new era of discovery.

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    • #

      Jaymez — you are right that docs are aware that diet and exercise can help — but what they mostly don’t know is which diet and what exercise are the right ones to recommend (and the answer may be different for different people). What exactly IS a good health regime? A simplistic high carb – low fat one certainly isn’t it. Five small meals a day has come and gone. Crash diets were thought to be awful, but the right kind of fasting may be the best treatment for diabetes. Most vegetable oils turn out to increase inflammation and asthma. Trans fats are “vegetable” in origin — but awful. How many people did margarine kill — when docs were trying to save people from butter? And 30 mins of aerobic exercise (not intense – “make sure you can talk!”) turns out to do not much for many health conditions and what many people need is intermittent exercise with peak output in short bursts.

      I don’t like the idea of mandatory food labeling badges “red lights” or “gold stars” because I have no confidence the associations and departments that dictate them know what they are doing.

      So medicine is like climate science in the sense that their are vested interests, bullying tactics, and billions of dollars on the table. But it’s a much bigger field with much more money. There are 1631 science journals listed in Health Sciences on Science Direct. That’s one publisher. There is no way a GP can keep up with all the GP related articles let alone the diet ones. We can hardly blame them, the topic is just so big. The short lectures they got in med school on nutrition were probably already out of date at the time, and unhelpful diet paradigms are guarded with passion.

      What makes medicine different to climate science is:
      1/ It’s bigger, there is more debate, there are more commentators, books, and people involved. Some government research is useful. The vested interests are massive on both sides — big-pharma is a force to be reckoned with, but ultimately everyone has an “interest” in staying alive.
      2/ Timing. For the first time in 200,000 years homo sapiens finally has a toolbox to use on the software of biology — starting in the early 1990′s when mass DNA analysis and synthesis became possible. Breakthroughs occurred in the late 1990′s that only ten years before were thought impossible. This is a time of rich pickin’s like no other.

      Even inefficient bureaucratized medical research is producing something useful. What we should do — is aim for ways to minimize the corruption.

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  • #
    Bloke down the pub

    Isn’t this the story line from I am legend?

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  • #
    ROM

    You are right up to a point bananabender.
    There is massive waste in the medical research game and that has been known for a long time.
    There is massive waste in the administering of useless medicines which are more placebo in effect than real.
    There is a lot of propaganda on the lack of enough propaganda on the need to exercise although this one seems to get more than it’s far share of publicity.
    There is a level of obesity that frankly appalls me when I wander down the local CBD although I myself am far from blame worthy here having got rid of some 16 kgs and going down over the last three years.
    .
    Resulting in a much better feeling and knees and etc are now no longer a problem and I can still do my standard evening walk of 3.8 kms every evening in about 42 / 43 minutes at 76 years old in the next few weeks.

    You might minimise but you can’t cure heart disease, arthritis, cancer, lung problems, digestive problems, bone disease and etc and etc just by being good at choosing what you eat and do through life. Oft time a lot of folks have little choice in what they do and sometimes in what they eat.

    When I was a kid 65 or 70 years ago, the old men in my district were all of 65 or 70 years old. 80 years were very old men and women.
    A 100 years got you a special telegram from the king / queen and a mention of the national ABC evening news.

    Right now in one of our old folks homes here in Horsham there are I think, at least four old timers who are over a hundred years old and up to 104 or 105 years old. A couple of them look like they are about 80.

    As a young fellla , in a crowd I could just look over the tops of the heads of a crowd.
    My son looks comfortably over my head as do a large proportion of the younger generation .
    My grandson at 15 years was as big as his father, my son, and still growing .

    Re the good food, plenty of exercise and long life claims, those old guys such as my grandfathers and grand mothers ate what came from their home gardens and they certainly had no chemicals applied to their vegies and their fruit trees and etc.
    They ate home killed meat. They walked everywhere including day after day behind the horse teams. My maternal grandmother use to walk the 14 miles [ 22.5 kms ] with her sisters from Doncaster in Melbournes east to the Melbourne markets and then walk home again with her purchases.
    They swung axes and picks and shovels and lifted 90 kg bags of grain as I did.
    They were dead by 75 years old.
    Their women worked and worked at everything including picking up the burnt sticks from the ground they had cleared to farm so they could farm that ground .
    They were dead at 76 years.

    Something has changed dramatically within the last three generations, the post WW2 generations and I suspect and suggest that it is much better food quality and a much wider range of foods but most of all the application of medical intervention at a critical points in our lives that have controlled heart disease, cancer, digestive disease and etc and etc
    My father died at 61 years old on the doctors surgery table from a massive heart attack which today would have been picked up long before with tests and a medical based program to control his blood pressure put in place. And that heart attack would have been dealt with within minutes and he most likely would have almost walked out of there after a week or so in hospital today.

    On medical research a short personal story ; In about late 1940′s my second brother at about 8 or 9 months old started screaming continuously to the point that at 5 AM my parents got into the car and drove those 20 kms down those rough part gravel country roads in mid winter to get him to our nearest small town bush nursing hospital.
    The old doc, one of the best there ever was, took one look and told them it was mastoid behind his ear which as it festered into the skull would kill him as it reached the brain.
    They had two options only. The first was to operate and scrape the puss out of the infection and hope they didn’t go through to the brain. which meant he died.
    The second was to try this brand new so called miracle drug called penicillin, the first doses of which the hospital had only got a day or so beforehand and had no idea on how or if it worked.
    The opted for the penicillin and the doc injected it into him as per instructions.
    a few hours later he was sitting up in bed a giggling cheerful little kid.
    The doc, the nurses, the entire hospital staff were totally stunned.
    I wonder how many times a scenario similar to that has occurred around the world when some of the new drugs and treatments have made it into the on ground medical useage.

    A further aspect of medical research, wasteful as it is and appears to be is that the burden of financing this research is falling on the two billion or so of those on this planet who are in the wealthy nations.
    What must be realised is that once done, the outcomes of this research becomes available to every one of the 7.2 billion humans on this planet both now and into the future.
    There are 5 billions on this planet who will contribute very little to any medical research but who will and can if politics and economics allow it, share and take advantage of the medical advances developed and paid for by those couple of billion or perhaps only a billion of the more wealthy citizens of the planet.
    Thats us!

    I have never seen this point ever mentioned in any discussion on health and medical research.
    We are very far from perfect but we are a hell of a long way further more and better along the path to human well being than we were even when I was just a kid some 70 years ago now

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      Yonniestone

      ROM I always appreciate your insights thanks, 76 is my fathers age whom after a lifetime of hard manual work is physically worn out, literally, but thankfully is in good health otherwise.
      I wish yourself and anyone else all the best of luck in your battles with such an indiscriminate and cruel disease, I agree with Jo that any hope is better than none.

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      Geoff Sherrington

      ROM,
      Agree with your commonsense points, but why not leave out the wrong gratuitous throw away about chemicals causing cancers. There are only about 30 chemicals known to cause human cancers. They are kept away from food production. The official list also includes groups of chemicals, example ‘smoking tobacco’ where the individual chemical identity remains unknown.
      The main point is that sceptics among us need in all walks of life to stick to what data tells us and question old wives’ tales. As a chemist, I deeply resent the implication that we have been lax with our stewardship. We have not. Chemophobia is an evil misuse of Science, another on a long list popular for the naive and common among green dissidents.

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    ROM

    Thankyou for that Yonniestone
    I’m one of the very lucky ones who have lived through a golden age in a golden country. And there are very few in this world today who can say that.

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    Richard

    After undergoing extensive chemotherapy and having his cancer spread one of my brother’s friends cured his cancer within months through a variety of natural remedies after the medical professionals wrote him off and said there was nothing that could be done – he researched natural alternatives and changed his diet to almost exclusively vegetables/fruits, had a high-intake of vitimin B17 and iodine, including bicarbonate soda, oil of oregano and a few other things. There was an interesting 1994 study published in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology showing that traditional chemotherapy is ineffective 97% of the time and is only useful against a small handful of cancers such as testicular cancer, acute lymphoblastic leakemea, choriocarcinoma, some lymphomas, and a few others. It is interesting that natural alternatives to cancer are habitually derided by the medical establishment even though there is an abundance of evidence demonstrating their efficacy. Anything natural that can’t be patented will *always* be useless.

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      Some cancers respond to a methionine deficient diet, hence vegan food – or totally plant based intake — is sometimes useful because it starves the cancer cells of an essential amino acid. But without knowing whether a particular cancer had the methionine mutation, it is a matter of luck.

      I’d much rather have cheap DNA arrays to test the cancer. Then then the people that remedy worked for could do it, along with targeted medical help.

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        bobl

        Absolutely Jo. For bananabender, diet can help with cancer, science recognises this, but the medical and pharma professions on the whole don’t. Don’t kid yourself though, diet won’t on its own cure or prevent cancer, it just extends your time a bit. For cure we need much more research, and medical and pharma professions need to look at all avenues, looking for a cure instead of a treatment. Somehow research has to put morals ahead of profit, properly applied a fund could help do that by taking profit from the ambitions of the researchers.

        For those readers lots of natural compounds have been shown in a test tube to selectively attack cancer, capsaicin (chillie), tea tree oil, sulphanes from caabbage, DMSO also from cabbage. Papain from paw-paw, progesterone, saw palmetta. Green tea, ginger. But inevitably they become just interesting sidenotes in the literature as big Pharma follows the leads to big profits. Pharma doesn’t want cures to big problems, they want treatments, things people have to stay on for life.

        I agree that we need to abandon imagined threats and put more into real problems, but in deference to bananabender we do need to take a different path, a path of cure rather than profit. A path that has the capacity to investigate cures, profitable or not and is measured by its outcomes aand not its profit.

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        bobl

        Ps Jo,
        The current way of medicine is like climate change. Science looks at the effect in test tubes, the science and finds efficacy of a treatment. Then it gets handed over to medicine and Phama, medicine and pharma are not scientific, they are statistical. Just because statistical survival of cancer patients is not affected doesn’t mean the cancer is not being attacked/cured, many effective treatment may have been ignored already because of bad statistics, or obscuring side effects. For example a drug that cures cancer but kills the patient as a side effect is not a dead loss if a way can be found to suppress the side-effect instead, we say trial failed and move on to something else.

        For example, cancer needs glucose, in theory if you go on a atkins (ketogenic) diet the cancer gets starved of glucose, and can’t metabolise keytones like normal cells can and therefore cant grow, but in practise ketogenic diets work for a time, but the cancer somehow adapts and starts growing again. Ketogenic diets have been abandoned. But what if we found out how the cancer adapts and target something at that adaption process ketogenic diet – plus something else might cure cancer, wheres that research?

        Not only that in phase 3 they only test treatment on advanced terminally ill cancer patients. An engineer wouldn’t treat a machine like this (ask hubby) we would intervene early and agressively treat the problem before the breakdown is inevitable. Intervening early can completely prevent failure while leaving it too late can mean that no treatment will save the machine the early stage treatments for example let’s say teflon oil treatments will have no effect if the wear is beyond a certain point. The biological machines of our bodies are just the same and failure to test promising drugs on early stage cancer is potentially crippling our efforts to cure it.

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      tom0mason

      So you feel that there should not be research on why a ‘natural’ cure helped you brother’s friend but many, probably the majority, found no magic cure from nature?

      Medical professionals do want to hear of such natural treatments and want to investigate them. Medical science is constantly on the look-out for methods and substances that improve a patients recovery or teatment. The big thing within medicine is to design a teatment that passes the government mandated trials (damned expensive) and can be used for as larger range as possible of patients suffering the same, or similar illnesses – again very expensive. This last point is a stumbling block for some treatments because of individuals biological variation.

      The big problem I see here is very similar to people’s ideas on climate – that is they are very mechanical in their thinking. The human body is NOT a machine. Our very individual biological uniqueness goes against us when medical science is designing products to more accurately diagnose, or treat illnesses and diseases, that just decades ago would have killed us. Thinking that everyone can be treated the same for many cancers is sadly not true. Each of us is not an identical machine. What medical research has found is that the more they find out about individual differences, the more there is to look for and know.

      Likewise the prevailing view on climate. The remarkably mechanistic ideas of CO2 causing a problem, without investigating where the majority of it is from, or where ultimately it will go and the timescales involved. Unlike medical science, climate scientists would have you believe they have a ‘settled science’, where all the questions have been answered. Yet they still can not model clouds!

      Nature has been doing its thing for a long time, certainly a lot longer that humans have been around. That said, is it credible that within the global natural network that is nature, there is not a controling method of sets of interlocking feedbacks, working over nature’s timescale, to regulate the level of atmospheric gases?
      To think that it is otherwise is to trash all we know about climate history.

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Richard,
      I’ve not devoted special reading time to the topic of natural therapies for cancers. This is because I assume that the large funding put into formal cancer research will catch any significant adventitious reports of cures and cause formal, structured research.
      It is as Jo notes, much a roll of the dice to attribute a cure to natural therapies. It is an easy way out explanation because for example there is no known mechanism for excess oregano oil to cure cancers.
      It is, however, all to easy for the natural therapy field to be invaded by quacks and charlatans. It is too easy to invoke the romantic notion that Nature is all knowing and to go off chanting irrelevant mantras.
      If it assists cancer cure for patients to have a state of mind dominated by love of Nature, then grab that mental placebo and go for it. Just be aware that it might not work where normal medicine might – and as the theme of this thread notes, more research needs more funding, not more fairy stories.
      Particularly as medical research possibilities are so rich, exciting and open-ended.

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        This is because I assume that the large funding put into formal cancer research will catch any significant adventitious reports of cures

        Not so Geoff. The large funding means some groups have a very serious stake in not finding a natural (unpatentable) solution to their patented profitable drug. This is where public funding could really achieve something. Alas, sometimes groupthink at universities is easily swayed towards One Solution. Hence there is no perfect solution, but in medicine we need both, and while competition will keep the private companies competing, we need watchdogs on the public type to stop it from navel-gazing groupthink or rent-seeking exaggeration.

        And as far as “natural” goes, the only possible road is smack in the centre. Those who dismiss all natural things are as bad as those who laud them all.

        Rabies is natural, but so is penicillin.

        I want natural, I want engineered. Most of all I want knowledge.

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        Richard

        I haven’t devoted special reading to this topic either but I have investigated it for myself and have found that natural alternatives such as amygdalin (or vitamin B17) and bicarbonate of soda to be effective methods of treatment for all sorts of cancer and found that the medical establishment’s fierce and implacable hostility towards natural alternatives is irrational and founded not upon scientific enlightenment, but rather upon protecting the interests of Big Pharma who can only turn a profit from laboratory-made synthetic drugs since nature cannot be patented. The treatment to which these natural practitioners such as Tulio Simoncini are subjected to (dispute their great success rates at treating people) seems to me to be identical to that of CAGW-alarmists towards CAGW-sceptics. Just as CAGW-alarmists refer to us as “climate deniers”, conventional practitioners habitually denigrate natural alternatives as “quack medicine” although they have no rational grounds for doing that. The following video details natural cancer cures and their practitioners such as Rene Caisse who successfully treated hundreds of people at her clinic in Canada who eventually had her right to treat people revoked despite her enormous success and her character destroyed by the media. This seems to be how those who produce politically incorrect results are dealt with – they are publicly pilloried. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx7W662gd8M

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    Tim

    I think many natural therapies could also provide ‘incredible outcomes’, if only the researchers in this field had the resources of Big Pharma.

    This could also be an incredible breakthrough, without much required in the way of taxpayer dollars:

    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/feb2007_report_pomegranate_01.htm

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    Peter Miller

    Climate taxes, carbon credits, green subsidies and ‘research’ cost us almost $1.0 billion per day and, as practiced today, it is mostly a complete waste of money.

    Any argument on this?

    Just imagine the amount of good even a small amount of this money could do in the fight against cancer.

    So, climate alarmists hang your head in shame.

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    Don

    In my opinion, we should see oncolytic viral therapy being part of standard treatment very soon. It is already well advanced. A Canadian biotech has been developing reovirus (Reolysin®), a very common, genetically unaltered (all-natural) virus, since 1998. The company has many trials completed and ongoing: .

    An Austrialian company also is developing a virus (unaltered?) for treating cancer: .

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      J Knowles

      Is this related to French Canadian Gaston Naessens? Many years ago I read about him researching the use of micro organisms to combat cancers and other diseases. I admired him for adhering to a maverick approach.
      A word of warning to those looking up anti cancer protocols. There are a few shonky ones and many legit ones but a consortium of drug companies has employed a struck-off shrink named Barrett to run an organisation to denigrate anything non main-stream.

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    Don

    Sorry, my links …got confused?

    Try these please (copy & paste)…

    Oncolytics Biotech: http://www.oncolyticsbiotech.com/clinical-trials/default.aspx

    Australian company: http://www.viralytics.com

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    What makes everyone think that transferring money from the fraudulent war on climate will be any better used in the so called war on cancer or other diseases?

    There is a similar amount of vested interest, a similar loose hold on doing actual science, and, in particular, a similar amount of power politics. The only result of either war is that wealth is destroyed and people die. For different proximal causes, to be sure, but they will die as a result of the fallout from putative war on whatever.

    That there might accidentally be some benefit achieved from the spending is seen as a bad thing. That means the money was well spent and there needs to be no more spending. We can’t have that, now can we? Especially if you are on the receiving end of that spending.

    The deaths of real people and the destruction of real wealth is treated as a necessary collateral damage in those wars. The central purpose is the power to decide the use and disposal of other people’s lives. We are to live by their permission no matter what. If it means our individual early demise, it is of little consequence to them. After all, you have to break some eggs to make an omelet. The glorious new world order awaits we survivors. When? Real soon now (aka shortly after the twelfth of never).

    Finally, only a government can make something that you can buy at the corner hardware store for a few dollars at a cost of only several thousands of dollars. Even then is usually still not fit to use for its intended purpose. Why do you expect that government doing medical research will be any more effective or efficient?

    Government, even if run by angels rather than men, means coercive force and only coercive force. All coercive force can do is keep things from happening, breaking things, and killing people. Even then, it is not a very effective nor efficient tool for such things. It is only marginally useful for fighting domestic crime and foreign aggression. If used for other purposes, even that marginal use deteriorates.

    If you don’t believe me, look at the history of the past 60 years. We can’t even stop an armed attack on a minor diplomatic facility in some backwater third world country. Even years later, congress and the administration are at a standoff investigating the situation for the purpose of identifying and prosecuting the guilty. Americans died. The attackers are still alive and free to do their thing. Our system is paralyzed and cannot perform its only legitimate function: assuring the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for the individual citizen and lacking that, bringing the violators of those fundamental rights to justice.

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      tom0mason

      “What makes everyone think that transferring money from the fraudulent war on climate will be any better used in the so called war on cancer or other diseases?”

      Just one thing -

      Illness is real, it truely affects real people. Medical science is real science, and can often help ill people.

      Pretending that CAGW is real is either self-deception, or a premeditated fraud. One thing for sure it is not real!

      If I were to imagine that it were real, there is no hope anyway! As by the UN-IPCC own figures CO2 is in the atmospher at too high a level (they say), and nothing, but nothing, we puny humans can do will lower it by any significant amount before, according to the UN, it will kill a lot of us.
      Consider this – If all the industralize nations stop creating CO2 NOW the effect on the atmosphere is negligable because we humans do NOT create the majority of it!

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        That is a slender reed to hang onto considering the impact that the anti-climate-change programs have had, are having, and will have on real people. Real people have died from the very real consequences of the war on climate. The deaths have had no impact on the continuation of the madness. If anything, the madness has accelerated.

        For example, fuel poverty leading to deaths caused by hypothermia in the winter. THAT is every bit as real as a lethal cancer and even more easily curable. All you need to do is eliminate the prohibition against producing and using fossil fuels. It is simple, easy, and uses well understood long standing technologies. No technological breakthrough required. Yet, that is the last thing that will be permitted by our governments. The important thing about the war on climate is that we the people are to exist by permission. That we die as a result of the war is either irrelevant to or desired by our so called leaders. It is certainly so as measured by their actions and consequences of those actions. Their words are fundamentally irrelevant compared to the results.

        Why do we put up with it?

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      Geoff Sherrington

      Lionel,
      I don’t automatically assume that there should be a large pool of tax money assigned to scientific research. I do not assume that medical should be singled out for boosting.
      However, given that government is there to perform tasks better done collectively than individually and given that a valid government function is to create opportunity for job growth, I’m fairly rerlaxed.
      If you go along this far, the next question here is, if you object to medical funding as much as climate change funding, is there a third or fourth sector that you would suport? What is your personal preferred cherry pick?

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        The only legitimate function for government is the defense of individual rights and the bringing of individuals who violated them to justice. This includes the sanctity of contractual agreements. All other functions must be done by private voluntary action including the payment for the legitimate functions of government. The individual is sovereign and government is servant. Anything else is tyranny.

        Simply because you think something is a good idea does not give you the right to any part of anyone else’s life or property. If you think it is so good, convince others by rational persuasion rather than use the gun of government to get what you want. If you can’t convince them, spend your own wealth doing it and prove the rest of us wrong. You have no right to violate rights!

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          bobl

          Aww no, I would argue that the government has a role in nationally defensive shared infrastructure too. Armies, navies, airforces, roads, water, power, communications and strangely agriculture – anything that is used “in common” especially any target that could be involved in a military threat. They should butt out of everything else unless there is a market failure. On that basis the government could divest itself of Hospitals, (except military ones). Education, except military. Health insurance, Postal service, right through to the ultmate in nanny stateism, the government’s unhealthy interest in what light bulbs people use.

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            bobl

            Oh one point though, there is a clear market failure in pharma where statistical modelling and the failure to follow up natural compounds and failure to keep up with medical technology needs government intervention. That intervention can be minimilist and could be structured to return a profit in many cases.

            For example there is a current market failure in that the best cancer radiation technology – Proton and carbon beam technology is not available here, government would have a role in funding a gap-fill but should sell the facility off at first opportunity.

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            markx

            a role in nationally defensive shared infrastructure too. Armies, navies, airforces, roads, water, power, communications and strangely agriculture …..

            …and I’d add to that “regulating anti-trust issues ensuring the ‘big’ don’t just keep getting bigger… lest we end upbwith one company running the whole world…

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              If getting big is bad and needs regulation, who is going to regulate the government when it gets too big? The government? Or is it that you think anything goes as long as government does it and that there is no such things as a too big government?

              However, considering that private industry gets big by satisfying a lot of customers who voluntarily bought their products what is the problem? So what if you don’t like it? Simply don’t buy their products. On the other hand just try stopping buying what the government has to offer. If you do, it is fines, jail time, and confiscation of your property. The government has the power of the gun. Private industry does not. That is a difference that makes all the difference.

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                markx

                Big pharma is a great case on this point (and I have worked for em) … simply buying up and absorbing other companies at will to satisfy the vagaries of our share market system…
                Belive me, after a certain point there are no added efficiencies of scale…
                …oh, except for a few things… almost unlimited access to finance (big banks, more of the same problem)…. and therefore an unlimited ability to resort to legal armtwisting…. and unfettered access to influence government at all levels.

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              bobl

              I did say unless there is a market failure, but once the market failure is adressed by the government it should bow out and divest any holdings (ie arguably the ABC was a respomse to a failure of the market to service the bush a failure that no longer exists and thus the ABC absolutely should be sold)

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            In other words, what you want the government to control, it should control. What you don’t want government to control, it shouldn’t control. That means I am to be force to your way of doing things simply because that is the way you want them done. That is nothing but a variation on the theme of two wolves and a lamb voting on what is for supper.

            How about you live your life your way and I live my life my way? Then if we can agree on a voluntary mutual exchange to mutual advantage, we make the trade. Otherwise, we both go in peace with neither of us violating the rights of the other.

            Just because you can’t think of how to organize a civilization without having the heavy hand of a government ultimately taking over and controlling everything does not mean that it can’t be be done.

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              markx

              The system of capitalism we now have (which has worked pretty dang well to this point) has only worked because of myriad rules and regulations dictating amongst other things rules of property, currency, contracts, financing…. etc. Those who argue most loudly that government now just needs to stay out of the way are those who are part of gigantic international corporations and finance houses who are now almost above any laws…and have pretty well sorted out how they can run the whole system… Oh, them and the naive acolytes who still believe the old adage that ‘anyone can make in this system it if they just work hard’.

              That no longer applies. We are heading towards a disaster.

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                They also have to work smart. Simply working hard produces only sweat.

                The “myriad rules” are just fine as long as they define the boundary between individuals beyond which each may not pass. THAT is one form of protecting individual rights. However, it is the 10,000 commandments per year piled on top that minutely dictate how each may act within his own sphere that is abominable.

                Ultimately, all rule based behavior will fail because the act of following the rules change the system for which the rules were designed. The rules attempt to dictate universal stasis. This cannot be made so. It is the fallout of the wish to stop the future that will be the end of us.

                The only way to have a future worth having is to create it. To do that you must be free to learn, know, act, and keep what you produce. Otherwise, your future will be brutish, painful, and very short.

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    Don Gaddes

    So, we must all work ’til we’re 70, because taxpayer funded medical science will allow us to live to 100. The problem is, most of us will be physically decrepit and a welfare burden on society from age 70/80. Medical ‘advances’ may keep us alive longer – but to what end? A vast population of publicly funded geriatric dependency? Medical research does very well from private and industry funding, because profits are to be made. Climate Science has been corrupted by misdirected public funding – the charlatans do not have to answer for their mistakes. Pure Science needs public funds. Unfortunately, it is left up to a largely ignorant public and a corrupt media to question the use of these funds.

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      tom0mason

      Don Gaddes,

      Your argument is to mix the idea of medical science extending life with the social and political conundrum of how best serve an aging population. I was argueing for medical science research and medical progress to improve the lives of all, cost-effectively.

      The fact that your government wants you to work till you are very old is your problem to fix. Your power is your vote! If there is not the candidate you want, become one, or a pressure group leader. You will then find out how important this is for others.

      “Medical research does very well from private and industry funding, because profits are to be made. “
      And what is your problem here?
      I would add that pure science requires both public and private funds.

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        Public funding means to take the wealth that people have earned by force and using it as the government sees fit. Those who earned it have no effective say in that taking nor in the use of the confiscated wealth.

        I say, if you want to support a particular program use your own funds to do it. Do not pretend that you are anything but a thug when you advocate the using of the government gun to take wealth from others against their will and using it for purposes they would not voluntarily have supported. If the program is so damn important, convince others by rational persuasion and don’t use the coercive power of government. Other people’s lives are not for your use and disposal. At least not without their voluntary agreement. There is no undeniable obligation for others to support YOUR whims, desires, needs, or things you think are a good idea.

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          ROM

          Lionell Griffith
          May 25, 2014 at 6:15 am
          “Public funding means to take the wealth that people have earned by force and using it as the government sees fit. Those who earned it have no effective say in that taking nor in the use of the confiscated wealth”.
          ____________________________

          The three greatest givers of life to mankind are the invention and creation of the great sewerage systems that lay buried under every city and town of even small size across most of the world today.

          The second or maybe the first greatest giver of life to mankind was and is the piping of clean drinkable water to the cities and towns and the people of so many nations.
          till far from done and far from perfect but we as a peoples are getting there.

          The third greatest giver of life to mankind was and is and has been for 5000 years, the building of roads that people, people of every race, type, description and level of wealth can use to communicate, interact, travel and exchange goods and commerce and knowledge
          But most importantly of all has provided until only a hundred years ago with the invention of the telegraph, the ability to exchange knowledge and to learn new knowledge across a vast array of human endeavor and desires.

          Each of these three critical to human health and development items plus many, many more of the same or lesser importance to mankind have been facilitated, financed, developed and built by the governments of the time using the taxes paid by their citizens.

          There is no other way of creating most of the what we now regard as necessities to our civilisation than through a citizen created collective ruling organisation that we call “governments”.

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            Simply because you are incapable of thinking how it could be done without the coercive power of government taking the wealth and property earned by private voluntary trade does not mean it cannot be done.

            As for “citizen created collective ruling organizations” that is nothing but mob rule. The so called majority votes to take the wealth of the minority to do things it wants done. It is irrelevant that they also voted to have their own wealth taken. How is this morally different from the actions of any common back alley thug? The only real difference is that the back alley thug puts his own life on the line as he commits the crime. The voter puts the life of the unwilling victim on the line while he expects to get his free lunch paid for by consuming the victim’s life.

            I don’t happen to accept that the only way to run a civilization is to have the equivalent of two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for supper. I find the notion totally obscene! In fact, trying to run a civilization that way is the primary reason that all past civilizations have self destructed. Ours is well on the way of doing that too for EXACTLY the same reason.

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              markx

              Trust me Lionel. Letting ‘big business’ run the show aint gonna work too well either. Big business does not run as a democracy… more like feudal lords cutting deals with each other to perpetuate their dynasties.

              Government getting big and inefficient is NOT a problem as long as those in the said government live and spend in the local community (ie contrary to modern thought, adding more local government is better than adding more central government).

              With big business there is no choice, the cash goes straight offshore.

              This is easily seen in contrasting cases in Australia and Indonesia, where Australia is paring back and centralizing and combining local governments, and Indonesia is increasingly regionalizing government. In one case regional towns are dying (oh, but we are so much more efficient!) and in the other case they regional towns are absolutely booming. Even corruption does not matter if the proceeds are spent locally.

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                I suggest you are projecting your idea of how to run a big business rather than how actually successful big business are run. If they don’t satisfy their customers, they go out of business. See General Motors as a case in point. They should have gone out of business a long time ago but they were propped up by your wonderful loving government and, in part, by your hard earned money taken from you by force and fraud.

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                markx

                Lionell,

                I don’t disagree with you on GM.

                But do you really think we have already chanced on the best way to run and regulate a capitalist system in the current situation?

                Look at the boom and bust, look at Detroit … a vision of decay.

                Maybe it can be done better.

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              tom0mason

              You say
              “Simply because you are incapable of thinking how it could be done without the coercive power of government taking the wealth and property earned by private voluntary trade does not mean it cannot be done.”

              No, not at all. What I know is that all your wishing for a perfect world will never happen. I am a practicle person and work from were we are, not from some pie-in-the-sky want to be place.
              So, that said, do you have any practical solution that will work?

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          tom0mason

          ” Other people’s lives are not for your use and disposal. At least not without their voluntary agreement. There is no undeniable obligation for others to support YOUR whims, desires, needs, or things you think are a good idea.”

          Stop projecting that is not what I said and I’m sure you know it.
          You sound like you are arguing for the sake of it.

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            Your words: “I would add that pure science requires both public and private funds.”

            Public funds are funds taken involuntarily from citizens to be spent on things they would not voluntarily pay for. This is your government in action enforcing what you said you did not say. When you say something, you are also saying all the intended and unintended consequences of that something. Your actual intent, if left unexpressed, becomes irrelevant.

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    Jim Early

    Since you are looking at breakthroughs in medical science,here is some excellent medical research by a fellow Aussie: Michael P. Pender, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland.

    He has proposed a general theory of autoimmune diseases [ Autoimmune Diseases, 2012, CD8+ T-Cell Deficiency, Epstein-Barr Virus Infection, Vitamin D Deficiency, and Steps to Autoimmunity: A Unifying Hypothesis ] and tested the idea with a new treatment [ Epstein–Barr virus-specific adoptive immunotherapy for progressive multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 2014]

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    • #
      michael hart

      I’m not Australian, so I don’t get a vote, but on several occasions during my time as a grad student of CD4+ T-Cells and autoimmune therapeutics, I was glad to use a Peptide-MHC database which I think was maintained by the Walter+Eliza Hall medical Research Institute.
      http://www.wehi.edu.au/ associated with The University of Melbourne.

      A related review by MC Call at WEHI (paywalled unfortunately)
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21676462
      ————————-

      On the current story, I’m not sure that altered viruses are going to be general enough for these purposes, especially if the patient might have a functioning immune system.

      Then there is the issue of targetting CD46. In principle it can already be targeted with antibodies. In practice, other tumors already are targeted in such a fashion. Ultimately the treatments rely on killing all of the tumor cells while killing as few healthy ones as possible. That’s the root problem. Does this method improve specificity and reduce collateral damage (side effects)? I’m not sure that it can.

      I do think their method of getting iodine into the cells is a pretty cute idea though. Coincidentally I also worked on a method of getting radioactive iodine OUT of the (whole) body to reduce the side effects of radio-chemotherapy.

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    pat

    $20 billion? sorry, that is too much. as others have suggested, why not hold off until the budget is under better control.

    15 May: Australian: Boffins’ Washington begging trip turns into celebration
    by RICHARD GLUYAS AND DAMON KITNEY
    CORPORATE leaders sitting on boards of the nation’s top medical research institutes could not believe their good fortune.
    Despite comprehensive leaking of the Abbott government’s first budget, the establishment of the Medical Research Future Fund — the world’s biggest medical research fund, to be capitalised at $20 billion after five years — was so unexpected that some of the institutes’ top administrators were winging their way to Washington on Tuesday night.
    Why? To do what Washington does best. A fundraiser. Australia’s ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, was hosting a dinner for some of the world’s big research funds, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    Attendees at the dinner included Doug Hilton, director of one of Australia’s biggest research institutes, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, which receives funding from the Gates Foundation; and Brendan Crabb, president of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes — the peak industry body, representing 44 members with annual turnover exceeding $1bn and more than 10,000 staff.
    Researchers and administrat­ors spent a lot of time yesterday firing off celebratory emails, as they contemplated an additional $1bn a year in funding, representing a doubling of the federal government’s investment in medical research within a decade…
    “The Prime Minister has always had a good understanding of the sector, but we’ve still been taken by surprise,” Mr Thomas said…
    The MRFF will be set up from January 1 next year with $1bn in seed funding.
    All savings from health reforms in future budgets will be direct­ly invested in the fund, up to a total of $20bn, including the reven­ue coming from the $7 Medicare co-contribution ­initiative.
    The revenue stream is designed to be permanent, with annual dividends solely directed to medical research, and the MRFF to be capital-protected and managed by the Future Fund board of guardians…
    While the initiative drew overwhelming support from the research sector, there were critics, such as Sinclair Davidson, professor of institutional economics at RMIT University and a senior fellow at the Right-leaning Institute of Public Affairs think tank.
    Professor Davidson described the MRFF as “incoherent”, as the Medicare co-payment and increas­ed medicine prices would not be used for debt or for deficit reduction, which begged the question of why have it at all?
    “Clearly, there is no urgent need to introduce these higher prices and co-payments; they are driven purely by ideology,” he said.
    ***“The MRFF exists to distract attention. Why deprive people of actual medical attention in order to finance research when there is no guarantee of any actual benefit?”
    There were also some damaging side effects for a few listed companies. Shares in Sonic Healthcare wound back 79c or 4.3 per cent to $17.49 while Primary Healthcare plunged 24c or 5 per cent to $4.53, both on expectations that the $7 co-contribution on GP visits would result in a fall in patient volumes.
    At the Garvan Research Foundation, chairman and former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon welcomed the involvement of the Future Fund in medical research.
    “The Future Fund has been a great success and run in a very professional manner, and with the former treasurer (Peter Costello) now chairman, it’s good to see the new medical research fund under their umbrella,’’ Mr Dixon said…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/boffins-washington-begging-trip-turns-into-celebration/story-e6frg8zx-1226918037876#

    18 May: SMH: Dan Harrison: New $20 billion medical research fund: wonky, wedge or wonder cure?
    If discoveries supported by the fund do become commercially viable, the taxpayer is unlikely to directly receive any proceeds.
    ***The intellectual property generated through NHMRC-funded research rests with the research institute or university.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/new-20-billion-medical-research-fund-wonky-wedge-or-wonder-cure-20140517-38gss.html

    ***and, even that, depends on potential Australian patents not getting ripped off via cyber economic espionage before they are granted.

    Research Australia: Alastair Lucas AM
    Chairman Burnet Institute
    Chairman Investment Banking
    Goldman Sachs Australia
    Alastair is Chairman of Burnet Institute and Cell Care Australia. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and a Director of Fauna & Flora International Australia.
    Alastair is Chairman of the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs Australia. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he was at Macquarie Bank for 22 years where he worked in various capacities, culminating as head of Macquarie’s Corporate Finance Group and then Chairman, Investment Banking.
    Since 2004, Alastair has been a member of the Federal Government’s Takeovers Panel.
    http://www.researchaustralia.org/about-us/our-board/alastair-lucas-am-master

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    Ted

    We live in the Biotechnology age, not the computer age. Biotech and Medical knowledge is growing faster than Moores Law and has for the last 3 decades since the USA reaction and outcry to the Aids epidemic saw billions upon billions into antiviral and anticancer research. The spin offs are amazing. Therapies we would have scoffed at in 1980 are real tried and standard use today, from pathways we did not even know existed. I hold shares in Mesoblast Viralytics and CSL. Look up Mesoblast.ASX a A$2 billion dollar company, that has 4 phase 3 trials underway in the USA. Then remember they are a tiny drop in the ocean of pending mind boggling therapies. Hold onto your worn out pieces and joints, we will be repairing them by injecting stem cells, or replacing them with 3D printed human cell alternatives not clunky metal. I have been practising and teaching medicine for 40 years and the rate of new things arriving to mainstream is exponentially increasing. Many cancers we can largely prevent with treatment and lifestyle e.g. cervix anus throat colon skin oesophagus stomach lung, and most are commonly treatable Leukaemias, lymphomas, thyroid, even breast cancer is now regarded by most oncologists as a chronic illness. We will take the most out and make that always with further research, and like CSL with gardisil I would like the treatments to pay Australia a dividend. But the competition is well funded and we will have to rely on inspired teams given a solid financial footing.

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    ROM

    To support Ted’s contention that there are some amazing health related developments in the pipe line, individualy mapped 3D printing , still metallic based but of biological materials coming, of skeletal implants amongst the developments.

    Patient has 3D-printed hip replacement in Southampton

    ________________

    About two or three years ago I was invited to sit on a climate catastrophe panel at one of our local schools along with a few, almost to a man, climate catastrophe believers including a professor from Monash who gave the main presentation.
    It was well past Climate Gate and Copenhagen but the presentation consisted almost entirely of the worst of the pre-Copenhagen climate alarmism including the by then thoroughly discredited Mann hockey stick.

    The audience was the 12 to 15 year olds of the school along with a good flotilla from the great and good amongst the rabid local greens.

    Population increases running out of control became one of the excitable subjects until I got a say on the rapidly slowing trends the demographers are suggesting is now well under way with a strong possibility of the global population peaking at around the 9 billions by 2040 / 50 before beginning a long slow decline.
    There was some considerable and justifiable consternation amongst the kids along the line, if the population isn’t growing and the time we will live is much longer, who is going to look after us when we get old?
    Repeated by the green brigade present in somewhat artificially horrified tones.

    I pointed out that the Japanese are already using robots in old folks homes to reduce the work load of the carers , a point of great interest to the kids and one they readily accepted and even welcomed.
    Of such is the changing attitudes of today’s generations to the introduction of radical new technologies.

    The Japanese robotic helpers for the aged are actually based in large measure on robotic developments in Melbourne University. But as is usual for Australia , another nation, this time Japan with it’s rapidly aging population and it’s now stagnant or declining population levels have turned to technology to help in the care of the older generation .
    Surprisingly the older generation [ not sure if "older generation" referring to self is being hypocritical !! ] at first resisted the robots but within a fortnight had accepted them and even started looking forward to the presence of the robotic helpers.
    And this is at the very first stages of another revolution in the promotion of health amongst the most aged of our society while minimizing the load on the human carers of those aged.

    Robots to the rescue as an aging Japan looks for help

    Rise of the elder care robot

    Robots whirr into elderly care

    And a considerable number of other sites by googling ” aged care robotic helpers”

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    Streetcred

    … and then you get the viral crap pushed in cyberspace calling cannabis resin “a cure for cancer.”

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      bobl

      Yes, howver cannabis is cytotox and oncotoxic and because it’s natural and a troublesome social pest it hasn’t been properly exploited. An old dentist once told me that they had a great anaesthetic before novacaine called… Cocaine which was much more effective an anaesthetic than novacaine but got taken out because it became a troublesome drug of addiction. If it was found that heroin cured cancer tomorrow, would they allow it’s use … No, they wouldn’t, and it’s illegal to possess, so noone will look at it.

      This sort of thing is a symptom of groupthink just like global warming – if it’s bad (compound/warming symptom)in one context then it’s bad in all contexts, and if it’s a natural (drug/warming) then it’s a scam and won’t work.

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        bananabender

        Heroin was a widely used as a very effective ingredient in anti-cough medications prior to WW2.

        Now most of the over the counter cough, cold and flu treatments are nothing more than expensive placebos.

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      Nathan

      How do you have a name like streetcred and bag cannibis? I have no firm reason to accept Rick Simpson’s (Run from the Cure – youtube) version of cure but I have read many testimonies saying it has cured them, enough for me to take it seriously if I had the need. I’ve had 3 people close die recently and another 2 undergo treatment and the terrible side effects of recognised and expensive treatment and are yet to find out if it has ‘cured’ them. Also as I continue to explore online there are lots of warnings about fake oil being sold which will do nothing. If I’ve learnt nothing else here it’s that governments and organisations are controlled by humans and humans can be very corrupt, despite having very respectable places of honour (& power). I have now personally experienced another cheap “snake oil” cure to try it out to test what I could of it’s claims and found it very effective, easy and safe. Against what I’ve read online about this ‘cure’ I now laugh because I know it works.
      The 2nd is warned against by the FDA. Of the first, Rick Simpson has been pursued, jailed, fined and chased out of the country. If the govt is against it, and you can check it online and find many opposite testimonies, personally I find that at least intriguing. How can a plant undergo proper scientific trials when it’s deemed illegal and supposedly a class 1 (most dangerous) narcotic. Despite the Govt’s attacks, scientific testing has and continues to be done and the results are very positive but at the end of the day the real proof is when people are experiencing healing and they will try it when they have no other option.

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    ROM

    Sounds like you might be a paid up member of the IFA, Lionel.

    IFA ; International of Anarchist Federations

    Anarchism / the doctrine that all government should be abolished.

    Which makes the IFA somewhat of a puzzling conundrum what with it being an organised Federation of anarchists who abhor organisation of collective groups called governments.

    As Churchill said of Stalin’s Soviet Russia. Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
    So be it with anarchists who organise into Federations

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    ROM

    #21 should have been the reply to #15.1.1.1.1

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    • #

      You are partly right. I am as close to being an anarchist without actually being one as you can get. We cannot have a civil society without some form of government but we don’t need more than a fraction of a percent of the one we have.

      Since government action is the use of coercive force, its only legitimate function is to prohibit the initiation of coercive force. The initiation of force is the only way individual rights can be violated. I think it not a good idea to have a government who’s primary action is the initiation of force against those who don’t. Which is precisely what all current governments on earth happen to do to a greater or lessor extent.

      A discussion of the implications of the prohibition of the initiation of coercive force is exactly that hair splitting detailed discussion that some don’t want to see or hear. Yet all our lives and fortunes depend upon the outcome of that discussion. The devil is in the details and if you avoid/evade the details, you get exactly what you deserve: a very short end of a very wicked stick!

      I have no problem with anyone going to hell in their own chosen way, I simply don’t want to be forced to go along for the ride and to pay the fare.

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    Phillip Bratby

    Meanwhile, one of the BBC’s favourite greens says “Stop spending money ‘chasing cures for cancer’ and spend it on helping wildlife instead”.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2633631/Stop-spending-money-chasing-cures-cancer-spend-helping-wildlife-instead-says-BBCs-Chris-Packham.html

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      bobl

      Classic misanthropist, belongs in a mental assylum for despising his own species so much

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        bananabender

        It has nothing to do with misanthropy. Cancer research is the biological equivalent of turning lead into gold. No matter how much time and money you spend you won’t be successful.

        The US National Institutes spent 25 years on a ‘War on Cancer’ before describing it as “an exercise in futility”.

        Facts:

        The vast majority of cancers are lifestyle related and are caused by poor diet, lack of physical activity and smoking.

        Every cancer is unique and no generic cure is ever going to work on the majority of patients.

        Once a cancer spreads to the major organs you are as good as dead – no ifs, no buts. The best you can hope for is a short reprieve.

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          Roy Hogue

          Just a counter fact: 5 and 10 year cancer survival rates are at an all time high. Why do you think it’s worthwhile or necessary to abandon the search?

          I agree, there is no magic cure. On the other hand, if my wife had cancer I would want to know that every possibility for a cure was being looked at, I would want her to have the benefit of every possibility for a cure. Would you not want the same thing?

          Cancer is an ugly death with increasing pain until either the cancer gets you outright or the level of morphine needed to keep you out of pain becomes fatal. You or I might go out that way. But if there’s a possibility for a cure just down the road, I want it being looked for. I don’t give up just because the job is difficult.

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            Roy Hogue

            It has been a long road to get to where we are. When my father’s best friend and best man at his wedding had cancer, he had almost nothing to help him except surgical removal of the cancer. There were none of the things that we can fight with today.

            That was roughly 65 years ago. What will another 65 years make available?

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      Roy Hogue

      Meanwhile, one of the BBC’s favourite greens says “Stop spending money ‘chasing cures for cancer’ and spend it on helping wildlife instead”.

      Tells you a lot about the guy, doesn’t it? And all bad.

      What rock do these greens live under? We should find it, roll it over and let the favorable environment under it dry out. Then see how they feel about where money is spent.

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    the Griss

    UKIP seems to be making inroads. :-)

    I guess that’s what happens you put a real conservative party against two left wing parties.

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      bananabender

      A bunch of semi-literate bogans lead by a racist, alcoholic, former banker is not my definition of a ‘conservative’ political party.

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        the Griss

        But still a could be a better choice than either of the other parties.

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          bananabender

          Being anti-Left doesn’t make you a true conservative. It may just mean you are a right wing scumbag. I prefer quality over ideology.

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          • #

            How can you determine quality without having an idea of what quality means? Is not that itself an “ideology”? Perhaps it is not so much ideology as such but the content of the ideology.

            To judge the nature and content of an ideology you must know what good and evil are in a very objective way. Feelings learned from the punishment and reward handed down by your parents might be a pointer to something but not necessarily right. Especially since they were handed to your parents by their parents recursively back countless generations. In other words The Sacred Tradition. The *Tradition* might have seemed to have worked once but will it now in a different context? Wouldn’t it be better to check with reality and make sure?

            Oh my, here I go again splitting hairs when all some people want are unexamined assertions of agreement with their assertions of unexamined tradition.

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        tom0mason

        Is that an assessment of the Cameronians or Millipede’s crew?

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    bananabender

    The Medical Future Fund will be worth $20 billion by 2023. It will realistically provide about $500 million pa to researchers.

    The US National Institutes of Health has a 2014 budget of USD31 billion. By 2023 the annual US NIH budget will be about USD40 billion. This is at least twice the entire MFF value.

    The US NIH will be spending about 80x as much each year on medical research as the Australian MFF.

    Summary: The MFF is a political stunt. It won’t make any real difference to health outcomes and it takes money from other researchers.

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      Roy Hogue

      Bananbender,

      I would not count on all that NIS money being used well. This country does more useless research than you might believe.

      I wish I could make a different statement about NIS but at the moment I can’t.

      And even if all $32 billion was used well it would be a drop in the bucket compared with all that could easily be done if more money was available.

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    janama

    I’ve been following this lot up in the Daintree – it’s worked on horses, cats and dogs and they are starting human trials.

    http://www.qbiotics.com/

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      bananabender

      I’ve been following the biopharmaceutical industry in Australia for 20 years. I can think of only a handful of successful new treatments being developed during that entire period. Nearly all of them were products developed by leading university research teams.

      It takes hundreds of millions of dollars and 10-15 years to bring a drug from the laboratory bench to the market. Virtually every drug fails long before commercialisation taking all the investors money with it.

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        janama

        But it works – they’ve had brain tumors in horses shrivel up and disappear in a week.
        Not a bad place to start.

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    Nathan

    Why wait? Google ‘Run from the Cure Rick Simpson’ ‘Phoenix Tears’ and keep investigating. Beware of fakes and bed testimony from fakes. Personally I’ve seen enough testimonies that it’s certainly worth pursuing (I don’t have cancer). There are enough govt. studies from different organisations around the world backing it up, a US patent affirming something of the claims and certainly enough people given their last rights that continue to say it worked for them or theirs.
    Then we can spend the medical fund on illnesses that don’t yet have a cure.

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    Roy Hogue

    Earlier this year I read that genetically determined characteristics appear to be modified by environment and even experience as we go through life. It was an article in some publication I picked up while cooling my heels in a hospital waiting room. After thinking about that for a few minutes my engineer’s mind began to wonder if it might be possible some day to engineer a virus specific to each individual that could repair the otherwise inevitable degradation of cell behavior and thus prolong life for a long time, not to mention the obvious that it would outright prevent such things as cancer and diabetes.

    Well, that was just a daydream. But this research makes it look like a someday possibility.

    Having just lost a friend to cancer this is a very poignant subject. Cancer, no matter the type, is a vicious killer. And if the measles virus can cure even a few of those who die of cancer every year it will be a huge triumph for medical science.

    Who would guess that a once dreaded disease might someday lead the way toward curing advanced stage cancer?

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      bobl

      Roy,
      I have the same experience, for example think about UV cure polimers, if we could target a polymer at say lactic acid ( which accumulates in cancer because of anaerobic respiration) such that we could turn lactic acid to polymer in a chemical reaction mediated by a thermal, UV or IR trigger for curing, then we could effectively turn dancer into plastic while leaving normal cells unaffected.
      Or
      If we can target an Iron or gadolinium compound at cancer, via receptors, or the afore-mentioned lactic acid pathways, then in theory we can inject energy to that iron/gadolinium using an intense high frequency magnetic field such as an MRI machine. Of course current technology is designed NOT to kill cells, but higher frequency magnetic oscillations would cause heating of the contrast agent which above a certain temperature (about 65 degrees ) becomes cytotoxic. If we could make the contrast agent specific enough to cancer, then this idea could provide the equivalent of radiation therapy, without the risks that using ionising radiation generates, and with a higher success because the contrast puts a little red bullseye over each and every cancer cell

      This is what my Engineers mind sees… One of the biggest problems I see in medicine, is NOT enough Engineers !

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        Roy Hogue

        bobl,

        I don’t know what it will take, engineers, scientists, maybe magicians if you can find the right ones. But I know that progress will be made by keeping up the fight.

        Send your ideas to some cancer research centers and see what happens. The worst answer you can get is , “No.” Or maybe it will lead to something or trigger a thought that will lead to something.

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    Gerry

    Back in the mid to late eighties I was running a clinic set up by Dr Richard Mackarness in which cold sores (herpes simplex virus) were treated by the person placing a couple of drops of titrated dose (in saline) of flu vaccine under the tongue …seemed to work a treat …people kept coming back for more …

    Very amazing man that Doctor – read his book “Not All In The Mind” about mental illness …

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    Don Gaddes

    There has been a politically expedient decision to raise more public funds for medical research. We are thus told we must all work until we are 70, because medical science will keep us alive until we are 100.(ie, we work longer, to pay more taxes to find ways to keep us alive longer.)My purpose is, to expose the fallacy. We will still be a geriatric burden on society from age 70/80 onward,(as well as foregoing any meaningful retirement.) If we are living to 100, then we will be welfare dependent from 70 to 100 (or more) – a vast increase in aged welfare dependency, without, necessarily,any real benefits to ‘quality of life’.
    Perhaps some will be ‘happy’ (medically induced,) being cared for by robots in their increased taxpayer-funded ‘twilight years. Although, if the new funds go first into consolidated revenue….How, and where will they be redistributed? Damn my cynicism!

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    Peter Kemmis

    Jo,
    Have a look when you get a chance at our Australian little company, Viralytics. It has been undertaking Phase 2 trials in the U.S. I think there’s quite a future for virotherapy.

    —-
    Thanks Peter. Great to see. Good luck with the trials on melanoma. Everyone wants that to succeed… http://www.viralytics.com/ – Jo

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    Caily Harley

    If this is true then the government and the FDA should really try looking into the ability of holistic treatments in curing cancer instead of a conventional treatment that has a 50% success rate.

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Lets not get too carried away.

      Stacy Erholtz forehead tumor disappeared for nine months, which they describe as “an incredible outcome” but it has returned and is being managed by radiotherapy.

      It doesn’t work for people who have had measles, since that virus is the vector used. The measles virus itself has been “modified”.

      It therefore does not qualify as a “holistic treatment”, which has an undetermined success rate.

      In some countries, “holistic treatment” is a surrogate term for Hospice care.

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