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NEW BC treatment breakthrough

skipper54's picture
skipper54
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

Did anyone else hear about this? I googled it after learning basic info and pasted the article below. BUT the folks at Hershey Medical have had a break through in treatment. It seems they've found a virus that kills breast cancer cells in the lab. The big problem, the funding needed to take it to trials. Read the story below and pray they can find the funding. This could be big if it works other than in the lab.

A team at Penn State Hershey Medical Center has found a virus that kills breast cancer cells in the lab, but surprisingly they've had a hard time securing funding to enable human trials.

But now, there is good news.

Last week, Dr. Craig Meyers told abc27 how he and his team have found a certain virus that kills 100 percent of breast cancer cells - all kinds of breast cancer cells. Right now, that's working in a tissue-culture dish and in mice.

"I didn't believe it. I thought our incubators broke down or the person doing the experiment did something wrong," Meyers said. "So we repeated it, and repeated it, and repeated it."

Each time, it worked. But Dr. Meyers was frustrated. In order to continue the research, he and his team need money. And, mostly because of the economy, that money wasn't coming in.

But when the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition saw the story on abc27 News, they decided to take action. With their huge annual conference underway in Harrisburg, the coalition surprised Dr. Meyers with a check for $100,000.

"I thought they had invited me here to honor my work and I was truly surprised," Meyers said. "Nobody let me know what was going on."

"It's so exciting because they found an element that does kill breast cancer cells completely," said Pat Halpin Murphy of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

Dr. Meyers said the event reminded him of the human element of his work.

"In the lab we get used to looking in tubes and plates and stuff, and sometimes you forget you're working on something that's a devastating disease," he said. "There are so many people who've suffered and survived, it reminds you of the importance of what you do."

The donation was generous, but that doesn't mean Dr. Meyers and his crew are set. The research costs $300,000, $500,000 dollars a year, and Meyers hopes to get his team's discovery to human trials in a few years.

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

This story which has been posted on most breast cancer boards on the internet. We aren't mice and it is a long way from working in mice to working in humans. It's always good to read what might turn into something great down the road.

I remember when the New York Times came out with the article on Dr. Judah Folkman and angiogenesis with the possibilities that cancer might be cured in 2 years. That was 1998. Then more articles came out explaining that Dr. Folkman stated he could "cure cancer in mice not humans". A big difference! The concept was so different and we were so hopeful but the drug called "Avastin" didn't turn out to cure cancer and it's been removed by the FDA for breast cancer.

Over time, I learn not to get to excited over what might never pan out.

Best,

Doris

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

I spoke with my radiation oncologist about this just this morning....he said it is exciting and that these kinds of things have a way of being " fast tracked" by the FDA...SO it maybe tested on humans sooner rather than later....I don't believe in being a "Debby Downer" when these kinds of things are being reported....some hope is better than none and hooray for these researchers! Will be speaking to my medical oncologist about this at my appointment next week....he is head of Oncology, Hematology and Clinical Research at the cancer center I am treated at....

Again, some hope for down the road is better than none.... It may not save me, but could possibly save our daughters or grand daughters some day....I say KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK on those mice! :). After all, EVERY drug around, even ones that are keeping us alive NOW has to start somewhere......

PS....Avastin was never proclaimed to "cure" cancer.....

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Nancy,

There is always hope, all you need to do is go the web site of the National Cancer Institute and see the trials that are now active for breast cancer. One of them may work!

I’ve been in this “cancer thing” for 17 years, I am a prolific reader of books, magazine articles and etc. In 1998, there was a lot of media hype about a new possibility of maybe curing cancer in 2 years. This was reported on the front page of the NY Times. The sensation was over Dr. Judah Folkman’s discovery on something he called angiogenesis and his two new drugs called endostatin and angiostatin which cured mice but had not yet helped one human. A few weeks later, magazines such as Newsweek, Time gave a somber explanation on how information was taken out of context in the NY Times article on Dr. Folkman. They made something that was years away seem like it would be available soon.

A good read is a book title “Dr. Folkman’s War: Angiogenesis and the struggle to defeat cancer” by Robert Cooke.

When I read an article that says “Mice” then I know the results are not going to happen for a long time. It all has to go through the different phases of trials, approval and then marketed. There is always the possibilities that what works on rodents don’t work very well on people.

If you reread my post Nancy, you will note that I never stated that Avastin proclaimed to “cure” cancer.

Best,

Doris

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Let us know Nancy what your oncologist says. I pray for a cure!

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

My oncologist would give me a disapproving look if I inquired about a possibility of a drug still in a lab. Doctors time are precious and we speak only of things that are about my treatment or concerns to my health.

I have a lot of medical issues beside stage IV cancer and therefore a lot of specialists. I never bring up something that isn't pertinent to the reason I am seeking their expertise. I am not saying that I don't mention a side remark on the weather, wishing them a good holiday but, asking about something I can research on my own time, never.

Do you Diane?

All my doctors allocate a specific amount of time for each appointment. Occasionally it will go over and sometimes, it will be under. I never prolonged any appointment with irrelevant questions. I find it hard to believe that others do and get away with it?

A good doctor will have a busy practice. If your relationship with him or her is going to be long term, you don't want to aggravate them by throwing off their schedule.

Just an observation from someone who has been in this game for 17th years.

Doris

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4529
Joined: Aug 2009

thank you for giving us some good news. I always get excited to hear new research.that there is important work being done on this problem!!!!

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Worth looking this up at Penn State school of medicine...google it....i

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Thanks for sharing this.

Lex

mamolady's picture
mamolady
Posts: 795
Joined: May 2011

Whether is helps my cancer or not, if it will help my kids or grand kids I am good with that!
Here's to a cure before any more generations are effected by this!

Cindy

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

about something positive as far as research or breakthroughs--whether it's in mice or chimpanzees! It's all gotta start somewhere. Wish I was a billionaire--I'd be funding every research project there was to find a cure for this beast. Thanks for posting.

Hugs, Renee

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Your going to have a lot of joy in your life if every research possibility does this to you:) (joke)

We all wish for success and we all cheer when it happens. I was diagnose before Herceptin was given to the general public. What joy it brought to all of us on my old forum when that happened. Not all of us had that oncogene but, everyone shared in the happiness of those who were offered a successful drug.

Aromatase Inhibitor were only on the horizon and not in the offerings in 1994. What a difference it has made in my life. I am still here because of it. Just so you understand, I am always very, very happy when something new comes out and it works.

I've been around long enough to see a lot of things that didn't pan out as expected. I look upon (especially media hype) drugs in labs as acorns, a long way before becoming an oak tree.

Best,

Doris

phoenixrising's picture
phoenixrising
Posts: 1510
Joined: Feb 2007

I am hope, hope, hoping this leads to something substantial. I would think that if the results were this exciting then there shouldn't be any problem with the money. There is tons of money for (or gotten for) breast cancer research (think Komen and ACA) but who knows where its allocated. Since all our drugs have started out on a mouse I wonder what it would take to get this to the next stage. Fingers crossed!!
jan

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

In the USA, there is a protocol that is followed. A drug has to jump all the loop holes before being approved for regular people like us.

Best,

Doris

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2135
Joined: Dec 2010

It seems that when they find something that can possibly 'cure' cancer the money is just not there. Most trials are started on mice, or rodents, before they even get close to becoming human eligible for trials. This is very exciting!

I may be a little cynical, but it seems that when they are hitting on something this positive they don't get the funding because if cancer is cured, the pharmaceutical companies would not be making the big bucks off the continual meds that we need to just stay alive, and most of the clinical trials are for medications (chemo combo's) and if you read who is funding these trials it is pharmaceutical companies. Look at the meds that doctors cant get because these companies are no longer making huge profits even though the meds are an effective treatment.

If I could win the lottery, I would certainly donate!

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2135
Joined: Dec 2010

I say this as I have talked to a researcher here who was working with a Canadian company for a cure for bc. They were working on something that is similar to this, they got so far and were able to identify t-cells the responded to something that sounded similar to this when the project was pulled due to funding, but they were close. Personally, I feel that they are close to a cure, or at least a treatment that could get this to a chronic rather than a terminal disease for so many of us, but when they get TOO close, these research projects are getting pulled. I know that she was very disappointed when this project was pulled.

Look at the one for CLL, they only had the funding for 3 patients and it was effective on all 3??? Now one would hope that when we are so close to a breakthrough that one or more of our philanthropic billionaires would come forward and donate...

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

I believe that they are only at the bottom of the long, long ladder. I don't believe in my lifetime a cure for all breast cancer's variables will be found.

Doris

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

To back up why I don’t believe Pharmaceutical companies are keeping “the cure” under lock and key.

Dr. Ralph M. Steinman would never learn he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine as he had died of pancreatic cancer 3 days before the phone call. He used the treatment he devised trying to prolong his life.

If there was a cure, wouldn’t he have used it?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/science/04nobel.html?pagewanted=print

No doubt Steve Jobs had the money to purchase a cure if there had been one available. Instead, according to his biographer, Walter Issacson, Mr. Job was one of 20 people to have the genes of their tumor and normal DNS sequenced. He manage a liver transplant two years ago because he had the money to purchase one and, do all the requirements from his own pocket.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/technology/book-offers-new-details-of-jobs-cancer-fight.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha25&pagewanted=print

If people in the field and people who are richer than god can’t buy or have the cure, then there isn’t any.

The story of Herceptin is very interesting to read. A good description of it is in the book “The emperor of all maladies: a biography of cancer” by Sidhartha Mukherjee.
A short brief write up in another book title “ A drug is Born” by Robert Bazell will give you a short version on the difficulties of drugs.

http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/20/books/a-drug-is-born.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm

A link to Barbara Brandish 10th anniversary page.  She was in the initial trial for this drug for those whose tumors express HER2 and hers really did. Still alive today to tell her story.

http://her2support.org/community/member-stories/216-barbaras-10th-anniversary-page

Read this story: http://www.metavivor.org/METresearch.php?KISS1

http://clinicaltrials.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/news/novartis-releases-positive-results-from-bolero-2-phase-iii-trial-260911

Data from Bolero-2 support worldwide regulatory submissions, which are planned by the end of 2011.

Bolero-2 study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of everolimus in conjunction with exemestane versus exemestane alone in postmenopausal women with ER+HER2- advanced breast cancer who recurred or progressed while on or following previous treatment with hormonal therapies, letrozole or anastrozole.

There is lots in the works that isn't chemo related.

Best,

Doris

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

I just want you to know that I was not in any way being disparaging of your article. It is always good to know what is in the works. I often read about it long before forums post them.

Been around to long to get to excited about any of it. Reasons that I have mentioned elsewhere here in this post.

I do hope that you didn't take my posts as slight. They were not meant that way at all.

Best to you,

Doris

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Is ALWAYS open to ANY of my concerns, questions, etc... including what could be on the horizon...I guess I have an oncologist who is open minded and would never give me a disapporoving "look" about what I have to say...regardless of the topic concerning MY health.....BECUASE he is " employed" by me! If he did I would be looking elsewhere for a new one....I worked in medicine for years....I don 't have the old fashioned view that doctors are the end all be all...That they are the "boss".......my time, questions and concerns are every bit as important as his....probably more so! As my life is on the line...not his! He is always up on what's on the horizon as he is also head of clinical research....He was able to get me along with two other bc patients into a clinical trial in conjunction with Sloan Kettering cancer Center...it had no effect on me, but did on one of the other ladies...Praise God for her!

As I stated before, EVERY DRUG has to go through trials...some showing great promise for all kinds of disease can be fast tracked...so again I say...Thank God for these researchers! Where would we be today without them?

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Nancy,

I have five specialist and a primary who take care of my many medical problems, literally from head to toe. I have never had trouble discussing any topic with anyone of them. I would not keep them if I did. I respect their knowledge, experience and do value their time. I’ve dealt with physician in my state as well as out of state. I have suffered deep 2nd degree burns over 1/4 of my body, had 20 surgeries (non deal with reconstruction) had six infections needing hospitalization, I am well acquainted in dealing with doctors. I even have some as personal friends.

Read your postings and understand where you are coming from about clinical trials. I was offered to participate in a clinical trial when diagnose. I decided not to take the chance, wanting something that was proven to work. In restrospect, the trial drug proved excellent and I recurred on those I took.

My point is and always will be the media often does hype up someone’s lab work. It doesn’t require any of us to be to excited about it, until it does go into clinical trial and looks promising. Some are fast tracked, I believe Herceptin might have been in that category. There is always something called compassionate use in be allowed to take a certain drug. I will bet that the majority of drugs to go through the required loop holes if nothing more than to prevent litigation down the road.

Best,

Doris

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