June 21, 2009

cancer cure

This seems too incredible to be true, but so encouraging . . . as reported by UK TimesOnLine:

TWO men with advanced, inoperable prostate cancer have dramatically recovered after being treated with an experimental drug. Both are cancer-free and have returned to normal life.

The patients, Rodger Nelson and Fructuoso Solano-Revuelta, took part in US trials of a drug called ipilimumab. The researchers were so excited by the men’s recovery that they released details before completion of the tests, which involved 108 men in all.

Before treatment at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, both men had aggressive tumours and neither was expected to survive.

Dr Eugene Kwon, who led the trial, said: “We were startled to see responses that far exceeded expectations.”

The patients received traditional hormone therapy to remove testosterone, which fuels prostate cancer. They then had one dose of ipilimumab, an antibody that boosts the immune system’s response.

Both patients saw their prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels drop to the point where they could have surgery. PSA is a protein that allows doctors to monitor prostate cancer.

When the surgeons made their incisions, they had a surprise. Michael Blute, a urologist, said: “The tumours had shrunk dramatically. I had a hard time finding the cancer.”

John Neate, of the Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK, where 10,000 men die a year from the disease, said: “If these early and small-scale results are replicated in larger trials, this represents a potentially very exciting development.”
There is some background on Wikipedia about the drug.

Another bit of potential good news for we greybeards.

June 12, 2009

pie time

New York Slapstick:
The political theater taking place in Albany over the past few days is yet another reminder of the fact that New York State government is essentially broken. The fact is that, for decades, both political parties have used their control of the respective houses of the state legislature — for Republicans, the senate; for Democrats, the assembly — as political patronage machines. Unfortunately, it took a changing of the guard — in this case, the senate — for the public to learn just how bad things have become.

June 06, 2009

continuing the move toward sanity

New Gallup Poll suggests that the move toward sanity continues:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are six percentage points more likely than they were four years ago to favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military, 69% to 63%. While liberals and Democrats remain the most supportive, the biggest increase in support has been among conservatives and weekly churchgoers -- up 12 and 11 percentage points, respectively.

June 04, 2009

moving toward sanity

Though Attorney General Eric Holder was unable to attend the ongoing AILA (American Immigration Lawyer's Association) annual conference, he receive loud, prolonged applause when it was announced that he had vacated the order issued in Matter of Compean by Attorney General Mukasey in January and announced his intention to initiate a new rulemaking proceeding for regulations to govern claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in removal proceedings:
The integrity of immigration proceedings depends in part on the ability to assert claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and the Department of Justice’s rulemaking in this area will be fair, it will be transparent, and it will be guided by our commitment to the rule of law," Holder said. "It is important that the American people have the opportunity to participate in formulating our procedures in this area, and this new process will ensure they do.

June 02, 2009

regarding hysterical howling

I agree with Bob Herbert.
One can only hope that the hysterical howling of right-wingers against the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is something approaching a death rattle for this profoundly destructive force in American life.

You should read it all.