Inspiring 15-Year-Old Develops Cancer Sensor

Jack Andraka has invented a test that can detect early stage pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer. The cancer sensor is cheaper and faster than today’s gold standard test. In May of this year, Jack Andraka’s groundbreaking research won $75,000 for the first place prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Jack plans to put that money towards college, because he’s just 15 years old.

Jack Andraka

Activation of the Immune System and the Nobel Prize for Medicine

nobel medal in medicineThe 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced on Monday. The prize was awarded to three scientists for their work on the body’s immune system.

The prize of 10-million-Swedish-krona (US$1.5-million) was divided, one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler, age 54, at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, and Jules A. Hoffmann, age 70, at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology in Strasbourg, for their discovery of receptor proteins that can recognize bacteria and other microorganisms and activate innate immunity, and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman, age 68, at Rockefeller University in New York, for his discovery of dendritic cells of the immune system and their unique capacity to activate and regulate adaptive immunity, the later stage of the immune response during which microorganisms are cleared from the body.

Cancer Research Blog Carnival #13 – Stand Up To Cancer

Welcome to the 13th edition of the Cancer Research Blog Carnival, the blog carnival devoted to cancer research.

There’s a revolution occurring on the Web: those “authoritative” articles written on traditional, static websites are being replaced with blogs, wikis and online social networks. In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, this “real-time Web” consists of many who are professionals in the field; their posts are listed below.
In the digital age, these are the characteristics of new media: recent, relevant, reachable and reliable.

Everyone knows that cancer is a devastating disease. What many people don’t know is that cancer kills more than 1,500 people a day; that’s one person every minute. Tonight, Stand Up To Cancer, a one-hour fundraising event, will be simulcast on all three major U.S. networks. The goal of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) is to enable cutting-edge research aimed at finding a cure to all types of cancer and making cancer part of the national debate.

Since 2001, federal deficits resulting from a number of fiscal pressures, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, increased national defense spending and hurricane Katrina, have together placed significant stress on the resources available for U.S. biomedical research. Between the fiscal years 2004 and 2007, the National Cancer Institute’s budget remained relatively flat. However, factoring in inflation (i.e. a Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI) of ~3.8% per year) reveals a 12% loss of purchasing power [1].

This decrease in resources comes as patient demand is growing. There was an estimated 1.5 million new cancer cases in 2007, an increase of 14% since 2001 [2]. The U.S. spends roughly $12 billion dollars every month fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s 33 times more than what is spent on cancer research annually. Imagine what we could do if just a fraction of those resources was dedicated to cancer research.

Living Life to its Fullest: The Song of Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch.jpgRandy Pausch lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today. In September 2007, the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor was asked to give a Journeys Lecture, in which faculty speak to their students as if it were their last lecture. In Pausch’s case, it was indeed. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006; by August 2007, the cancer had metastasized to his liver and spleen and he was given just six months to live.

The Last Lecture – How to Live Your Childhood Dreams

Nightline aired The Last Lecture: A Love Story For Your Life last night on ABC. For those who may have missed it, Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. Less than a year later, the cancer metastasized to his liver and spleen, and he was given six months to live. In September 2007, Pausch said goodbye to Carnegie Mellon and his students with a Journeys Lecture called “How to Live Your Childhood Dreams”. In it, he discussed his life’s journey and the lessons he has learned. Journeys are a Carnegie Mellon lecture series in which faculty members share their reflections on everyday actions, decisions, challenges and joys that make up their lives.