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Medical Cancer & AIDs

  1. Dec 16, 2008 #1
    When it comes to a cure, where are we with these diseases? What are the challenges with coming up with a cure?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2008 #2
    Hold on. Give me 5 more minutes.
     
  4. Dec 16, 2008 #3

    Ygggdrasil

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    AIDS is a disease caused by a virus (HIV, human immunodeficiency virus) and like all viral diseases does not yet have a cure. We do have treatments for AIDS which can halt the progression of the disease, but there are many problems with these treatments. First, they are very expensive, which prohibits their use in areas where AIDS is most prevalent. Second, AIDS mutates very quickly which allows it to relatively quickly become resistant to new HIV drugs.

    Despite not having cures for viral diseases, viral diseases can be eliminated via preventive measures, for example, vaccines. Unfortunately, all efforts to create an HIV vaccine has failed so far (possibly because the virus can mutate to evade the effects of vaccination).
     
  5. Dec 16, 2008 #4

    baywax

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    Working as the sole biomedical illustrator with a group of provincial cancer treatment and research centres has opened my eyes to the "cancer cure" industry. I illustrated several treatments coming through my office that were very promising but were never funded with the researcher often being ignored or asked to leave the agency. We've seen 250 billion dollars spent on research alone in North America and Europe and we haven't gone beyond Madame Curie's radiation experiments or the chemotherapy tissue baths of the pharmaceutical companies in search of an end to this suffering. So far, the most effective "cure for cancer" has been the death of the patient.

    I think that on an individual basis, stopping cancerous growth and/or the depletion of the immune system (HIV) can be initiated through the attitudes and morale of the patient. This is a tough call since the person we're asking to have a bright and sunny attitude is the one facing the illness and its symptoms. But, with this sort of attitude the patient is much better equipped to fight the disease, simply because their immune system is pumped up by the secretion of the hormones that are produced by a specifically good outlook.
     
  6. Dec 16, 2008 #5

    fluidistic

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    Wouldn't a positive attitude also favor cell divisions and so cancer? Just curious.
     
  7. Dec 16, 2008 #6

    Monique

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    Is there any evidence that this is true? You would need a tightly controlled study to be able to prove such a point.
     
  8. Dec 16, 2008 #7

    Monique

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    Let's first find out whether the first claim is true, before postulating such a question.
     
  9. Dec 16, 2008 #8

    baywax

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    There have been studies of a controlled nature that show how an improved state of mind results in a 20 percent increase in cancer survival.

    I'm searching now...

    Mindfulness Relaxation Compared With Relaxing Music and Standard Symptom Management Education in Treating Patients Who Are Undergoing Chemotherapy For Newly Diagnosed Solid Tumors

    Verified by National Cancer Institute (NCI), December 2008

    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00086762


    Relaxation and imagery in the treatment of breast cancer.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1835041

    This program started agency wide. The 20 percent less deaths I associated with this technique was a stat from 1997 after a 5 year clinical trial. The program is still in progress.

    http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/RS/FraserValleyCentre/support.htm
     
  10. Dec 16, 2008 #9
    just an anecdote, but a friend who works as an oncology nurse tells me that almost everyone with cancer does not get cured. it almost always returns. so it's mostly a managed disease, like AIDS.

    there is also the issue that there are so many different types of cancers, with different treatments for each.
     
  11. Dec 16, 2008 #10

    baywax

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    Malignant and metastatic cell division will take place as long as it isn't challenged by an immune system or stopped by another means such as apoptosis or degenerating telomeres. Cancer is a mutation where apoptosis is ceased and the degeneration of the telomeres is halted in the cell carrying the mutation.

    The immune system is compromised by stress such as the news of getting cancer, white lab coats pronouncing the arrival of your death in 3 weeks, fluorescent lighting, sterile surroundings, lack of human contact... the list goes on.

    Treating the body and mind (not really separate) well helps boost the immune system thus, providing an ally in the bodies fight to control and eliminate the errant, mutated cells.
    Radiation tends to multiply the problem by creating radiation resistant cells, causing more stress, pain and exasperating the mutated cells so that they actually become more resilient and aggressive. Surgery is a barbaric solution to any tumour with the exception of melanoma (skin legions and growths) because any mutant cell that escapes into the blood stream can lodge and continue to divide elsewhere... thus becoming "brain cancer" or other.
     
  12. Dec 16, 2008 #11

    baywax

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    No one knows that for sure. Like I said you and I have probably developed cancer during our lives then had our immune system deal with the condition without our knowledge.

    In fact, they are finding that women who undergo mammography are diagnosed too hastily because many of the tiny legions and tumours in their breasts could well be taken care of by their own immune system. Then they go on to these trying treatments that stress the living **** out of them and things get worse from there on.
     
  13. Dec 16, 2008 #12
    this isn't really saying anything except that people under high stress have lower life expectancy than people under low stress. i don't think there's anything new here. or that it makes a difference if one has cancer or not.
     
  14. Dec 16, 2008 #13

    baywax

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    Its new in terms of the last 60 years. All the 2nd world war Vets that came home with shell shock and PTSS were given a weeks worth of morphine then sent home, no questions asked. Today there is a lot more interest/money/time/dontations going into toning down the post traumatic stress syndrome in Vets to help with their quality of life.

    Plus its a major break through just during the last 3 months to realize that the woman being diagnosed with breast ca may not need treatment as long as their stress levels are kept at a minimum and their immune system is in good shape. Nothing new?
     
  15. Dec 17, 2008 #14

    Ygggdrasil

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    Certainly the immune system can be very helpful in dealing with cells that divide uncontrollably, but one of the hallmarks of cancer is resistance to the immune response. For example, most cancer cells develop a resistance to apoptosis (as mentioned by baywax) which renders them resistant to certain immune responses (e.g. from cytotoxic t-cells). Furthermore, cancer cells often downregulate the expression of MHC proteins and other immunological markers to evade detection by the body's immune system.

    There are certainly going to be some cases of cancer where boosting the body's immune system (through any number of means, phamacologically or otherwise) can be very helpful in battling a cancer. There will also be many cases, however, where the cancer cannot be battled effectively by the body's own immune system and immunotherapy will not be helpful at all.

    Although I am not a doctor, I would also contest the assertions that surgery leads to metastasis and that radiation therapy makes cancer more aggressive.

    Anyway, one major challenge with treating cancer is that cancer is not one disease. Cancer can affect a number of different tissue types which all pose unique challenges in the progression and treatment of the disease. Furthermore, even among classes of similar cancers, every cancer in every individual is unique. Thus, fighting cancer requires a number of different strategies which may work for some cancers but not for others. Thus, we shouldn't necessarily say that one treatment is superior to another. In some cases, immunotherapy will work best. In other cases, surgery, drugs, radiation, or some combination of therapies may be the best prescription. What onocology really needs is a revolution in DNA sequencing technologies to realize the dream of personalized medicine. With rapid, cheap DNA sequencing available, doctors could quickly identify the exact mutations that make a cancer cell cancerous and choose specific drugs or therapies tailored to that specific cancer.
     
  16. Dec 17, 2008 #15

    baywax

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    I will agree that laser surgery is the best option for removing a tumour. This is because the cauterizing effect of the laser disallows or at least decreases the risk of cancer cells getting in to the blood stream and lodging elsewhere later on.

    Radiation:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/54588.php


    When radiation is coupled with gene therapy... (transfection of specific genes by retrovirus) there is a slight better chance of halting growth and killing a cancerous tumour.

    edit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18316613

    (BTW: the P53 gene is the gene responsible for causeing cell death or "apoptosis")


    Here's an example of how radiation does not work:

    http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicin...ppear-Resistant-to-Radiation-Therapy-16756-1/


    Since this thread is about AIDS as well I want to point out a therapy the the late Johnas Salk was working on just before he died. A very close friend worked with him at the S.A.L.K. Institute and although they were not on the same project... they used to sail together... Johnas was around 93 years old at the time.

    The premise of his treatment was to fill the blood stream with decoys that looked and "smelled" like T cells. These decoys would attract the HIVirus and they would not gain any mechanical advantage from the decoys or nutrition... then die off.

    Another development I haven't heard anything about since was the Magnetic Colloid Cell Separator from Stemcell Technologies... whom I contracted with for a number of years. This device was a simple electromagnet through which blood passed in a tube. The HIV infected T cells in the blood were tagged with anti-bodies that were, in turn, attached to iron magnetic colloid. The magnet simply separated out the infected T-Cells and the blood was HIV free. However, this was a trial run and for now the device is used to separate out Stem Cells for further research.

    http://www.bio-medicine.org/biology...2-mL-from-StemCell-Technologies--Inc--2059-1/
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  17. Dec 17, 2008 #16
    why would a virus need nutrition, or die from lack of it?
     
  18. Dec 17, 2008 #17

    baywax

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    Viruses use amino acids to build new viruses. One example is the Herpes Retrovirus. It shows up as Chicken Pox when you're young then, under large amounts of stress it shows up as Shingles when you're older. A simple way to stop the virus in its tracks is to take L-Lysine, which is an amino acid.

    Lysine appears to the virus to be one of the amino acids it needs to build new viruses. When it uses Lysine as a building block, it breaks. Thus, the virual population dwindles.

    L-lysine: Active against Herpes

    http://www.lef.org/protocols/infections/herpes_shingles_02.htm

    In the case of Dr. Johnas Salk's theoretical treatment for Aids... the virus is attaching to decoys of T-Cells (white blood cells). So its not a case of starving them. Its a case of robbing them of the mechanicals of the T-Cell where the virus reproduces itself.
     
  19. Dec 18, 2008 #18
    The medicinal uses of trametes versicolor may be very promising in helping fight both cancer, HIV, and lots of other things as well. Compounds derived from it exhibit anti viral, anti tumor, and immune system boosting properties.

    You probably don't believe me now, but if you do your research, I think you will be surprised at the awesomeness of this organism. You will wonder why you and your doctor have never heard of it.
     
  20. Dec 18, 2008 #19
    cool, thanks for the heads up. i love these guys, they remind me of montipora corals.
     
  21. Dec 18, 2008 #20

    baywax

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    I don't believe or disbelieve you now. It would be helpful if you'd post a link to a study that proves the claim.
     
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