Serendopeity

The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

New hope for Chemo Side Effects?

Thanks to my EC buddy Steve for forwarding this link.

It was cool to read a newspaper from the other side of the world.  The only news we get here from the Middle East is, well, about the ongoing fighting. 

I posted two stories.  They are all but snippets from a daily publication, but to me they represent hope.  The first story about a possible new method of chemo that would lessen side effects.  This is a good thing as side effects can be the downfall of many cancer patients undergoing chemo.

The second little story made my heart smile.   What made me smile was that even cancer in all its ugliness made it possible for two children, who in all likelihood would never be on common ground with each other instead, are playing together. Like so many people I have met on my own journey through Cancerland,  people that I would otherwise never had an opportunity to know, cancer has brought us together and made us friends.  As  someone who strongly believes that everything happens for a reason, perhaps these 2 children, bonded by a disease will someday be the ones who stand up and say “Enough is enough”.  I can only hope.

From the Online Edition of the Jerusalem Post.

New ‘bubble’ targets only cancer cells

Jan. 31, 2009
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich , THE JERUSALEM POST

The side effects of chemotherapy and other treatments for cancer can be devastating, but drug-delivery research at Tel Aviv University based on nano- and microtechnology might provide much-needed relief, as well as more effective treatments.

New drug-delivery technology developed by Prof. Rimona Margalit of TAU’s biochemistry department allows drugs to target specific cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact and thus reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. The science uses tiny bubbles visible only through microscopes that contain payloads of therapeutic drugs.

“This development is on the leading edge of drug delivery and cancer treatment,” says Margalit. “Bubble technology can also be applied to other medical conditions, including diabetes, osteoarthritis, wounds, and infectious diseases. In 20 years, it could be widespread.”

Currently, cancer drugs travel throughout the body, delivering powerful medication to all the cells they encounter, both healthy and cancerous. When healthy cells are damaged by unnecessary medication, a patient can experience unpleasant side effects ranging from hair loss to nausea. More worrisome are further health risks due to the damage the medication does to the immune system.

The new technology, applied in both cancer and osteoarthritis therapies, was published recently in Nature Nanotechnology and in the Journal of Controlled Release . The technology allows cancer treatment medication to be placed inside bubbles so small that millions fit along a single centimeter. The surface of the bubbles contains an agent that allows them to distinguish cancer cells from healthy ones. When the bubbles “recognize” a cancer cell, they deliver their medication to that cell.

Not only does more of the drug get directly to the diseased cells, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment, but healthy cells continue to function normally.

The TAU drug carrier technology has performed well in animal models. The next step is to apply the technology to humans.

“Economics is the hold-up, not the science,” explains

Although the technology is still a decade or more from clinical trials, this promising discovery offers new hope in oncology.

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SOMETHING TO LAUGH IN

The Israel-Hamas war was no laughing matter, but children from Israel and Gaza who suffer from cancer and are being treated in the new “laugh room” at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer nevertheless feel that laughing at it is helping them battle the disease together.

The laugh room, located in the pediatric hematology department at Sheba’s Safra Children’s hospital and dedicated last month by the Israel Cancer Association (ICA) with funds donated by the Bronstein and Cherna families in memory of loved ones, has giant dolls, fun-house mirrors, an animated film corner, touch-screen computers and other equipment.

Eight-year-old Volla Tnani of Jabalia and six-year-old Nahman Rafael Fadida of Ofakim were at the dedication ceremony with ICA director-general Miri Ziv and Sheba director-general Prof. Zeev Rotstein. Imad Tnani, Volla’s father, said: “We are two peoples who will always live on the same land. Here, we are all with the same sorrows together, with no differences.” Liat Fadida, Nahman Rafael’s mother, praised the medical staff for their professionalism and humanity, and for treating everyone the same way.

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