Okay, this week, a couple pretty neat developments in medicine:
Scientists have used gene therapy to ‘switch off’ the immune response that causes asthma, and are hopeful that the same technique could be used to target other severe allergies to peanuts, bee venom, and shellfish, keeping them at bay for life.
The research, which has so far seen success in animal trials, works by erasing the memory of the cells responsible for causing an allergic reaction, and if replicated in humans, could offer a one-off treatment for allergy patients.
Nice! If it works in other mammals, of course it will work in humans. I hope this moves along at a brisk pace, and I hope the FDA won’t drag its feet too long before approving some techniques for zapping food allergies. I have a direly allergic little cousin-once-removed with terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE food allergies, so much so that he has to live in a virtual bubble because he doesn’t dare even visit a house where there once were peanuts. Can you imagine the constant worry the parents of children with such allergies must live with? Seriously, faster, please!
Also, check this out:
“These are the most powerful results I’ve seen from a prostate cancer trial,” said Nicholas James, the lead author of the abstract presented as the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “It’s a once in a career feeling. This is one of the biggest reductions in death I’ve seen in any clinical trial for adult cancers.”
As I’m sure you know, a huge proportion of men eventually develop prostate cancer. Right at the moment, I know two older men who are dealing with it. So, yay! Again, let’s move along with this, please.