I hate to exercise. There I said it. What about you? This of course does not mean I do not exercise. I do. There are many things each of us does on any given day that we don’t like to do, but yet w…
I see sooooo MANY articles touting the benefits of exercise, especially for former cancer patients. But so rarely do these pieces address ways to get motivated, given that we tend to have pain and tire easily. So here is an answer.
Even though I honestly detest cutesy word twists, especially when it comes to the subject of cancer, I am in a mood to go against my own mind and coin the “cancerversary” term on this occasion because I simply am not feeling celebratory at the time of this writing.
She’s right on—cutesy words are just ugh! And we have no guarantees, do we?
One of the most unforeseen benefits of living with cancer is the intimacy it creates with individuals we barely know. Affections spring up with surprising force.
About a succession of complaints, Virginia Woolf believed that “the best of these illnesses is that they loosen the earth about the roots. They make changes. People express their affections.”
Although I’m reluctant to call anything about living with cancer a “benefit,” I have to agree with her on this one. Cancer completely changed me in this regard. As I have written about before, now, the people in my life matter more to me than anything else.
That’s not an easy thing to say since it implies that this wasn’t alway the case. It’s not that I didn’t have tight friendships before all this happened but rather the depth of my feelings has grown exponentially. I’m not afraid to express my love to the people I care about. I’m also not afraid to shed tears in their presence or give voice to the fears that sometimes haunt me. And I embrace the intimacy and affections that spring up as I’ve loosened my “roots.”
I wish it hadn’t taken most of my life and a terminal disease to teach me this lesson. But the path we follow in life can sometimes blind us to the most basic of truths.
40th anniversary celebration also includes a documentary, book, reissues, and more.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas – the primary form of a deadly brain cancer – are resistant to drug therapy. The answer lies not in the DNA sequence of the tumor, but in its epigenetic signature. These findings have been published online as a priority report in the journal Oncotarget.
“There is a growing interest to guide cancer therapy by sequencing the DNA of the cancer cell,” said Clark Chen, MD, PhD, vice-chairman of Research and Academic Development, UC San Diego Division of Neurosurgery and the principal investigator of the study. “Our study demonstrates that the sensitivity of glioblastoma to a drug is influenced not only by the content of its DNA sequences, but also by how the DNA sequences are organized and interpreted by the cell.”
The team of scientists, led by Chen, used a method called comparative gene signature analysis to study the genetic profiles of tumor specimens collected from approximately 900 glioblastoma patients. The method allows investigators to discriminate whether specific cellular processes are “turned on” or “turned off” in glioblastomas. “Our study showed that not all glioblastomas are the same. We were able to classify glioblastomas based on the type of cellular processes that the cancer cells used to drive tumor growth,” said Jie Li, PhD, senior postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Theoretical and Applied Neuro-Oncology at UC San Diego and co-first author of the paper.
One of these cellular processes involves Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). The study revealed that EGFR signaling is suppressed in a subset of glioblastomas. Importantly, this suppression is not the result of altered DNA sequences or mutations. Instead, EGFR is turned off as a result of how the DNA encoding the EGFR gene is organized in the cancer cell. This form of regulation is termed “epigenetic.” Because EGFR is turned off in these glioblastomas, they become insensitive to drugs designed to inhibit EGFR signaling.
“Our research suggests that the selection of appropriate therapies for our brain tumor patients will require a meaningful synthesis of genetic and epigenetic information derived from the cancer cell,” said co-first author Zachary J. Taich.