NANOTECH, CHEMOTHERAPY, CANCER, AND SOME PERSONAL MEMORIESFebruary 11, 2011
Consider the following article:
This bit of news carries particular poignancy for me, as I lost my youngest sister Jeanie in 2000 to a glioblastoma, an always fatal form of malignant brain tumor that grows and propagates along the furrows and wrinkles in the brain, and which is thus inoperable. In seventh grade, we were made to read John Gunther's Death be Not Proud, a non-fiction account of a family's desperate struggle to save their son's life from a glioblastoma. Thus, when the doctors came out from my sister's initial surgery at Doctors' Osteopathic hospital in Tulsa, and said to my family that they had found a glioblastoma, and managed to cut it all out, my family, of course, rejoiced. The surgeon did not, at that point, elect to tell them what a glioblastoma meant. I knew, from having read Gunther's book so long before.
I got up and left the waiting room, clearly disturbed, and my sister's oldest son, my nephew Tony, followed me out and asked me what was wrong, and what they weren't saying. I felt he deserved to know, so I told him. Eventually, of course, the rest of the family found out.
Over the next two years, as we watched my sister gradually fade from the ball and bundle of life and energy to an invalid, her husband Mike and I searched desperately for alternative or new cutting edge therapies, and eventually, we found one: a method of injecting platinum-based chemotherapy solutions directly into the tumor by running a catheter through the skull and into it. We discovered, to our pleasant surprise, that St. John's Hospital in Tulsa was then one of only three places licensed to perform the technique, so new was it.
We scheduled Jeanie for the treatment, and I vividly remember standing in the room after the treatment, with her primary physician, her husband, and I, looking at the x-rays taken one day after the treatment. The doctor's jaw was open in disbelief, and he stood in shocked silence.
The tumor was completely black. It was dead.
I turned to him and said, "This is one for the medical books and journals, doctor." He shook his head, and said "No one would believe it."
Jeanie died a few weeks later, not from a glioblastoma, but from - as I recall - "complications arising from a glioblastoma." In this case, the procedure had nicked a blood vessel, and she had died actually of a brain hemmorage.
The doctor's response to me - "No one would believe it" - and the subsequent statement on the death certificate (as best as I can recall it), led me then to believe that we had another case of a "scientific orthodoxy" suppressing observation in the name of theory. Glioblastomas are incurable. Period. THat's the theory, based on long observation. They don't die, nothing kills them. Yet, there we were, staring at x-rays of a dead glioblastoma, the result of a radical procedure, that - did I mention this? - we discovered not in a medical journal but in an article in a journal of metallurgy! What a wonderful way to disguise a new treatment!
So the above article has particular poignancy for me, for from the sounds of it, similar treatments are now being discussed in the open literature. One can only hope and earnestly pray, that these treatments will lead to a cure for the disease with which so many people suffer.