Tulane student working on a cure for his rare cancer

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by LaurieB, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. LaurieB

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    I read this in the Wall Street Journal today and thought it might be relelvant to you all. I can't imagine what it would be like to be in this guy's situation, but I think his efforts are admirable and inspirational.

    continued on next post...
     
  2. LaurieB

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    continued...

     
  3. Disenchanted 1

    Disenchanted 1 Senior Member
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    gosh...that is really tragic. He worked all his way to get to medical school and now he has to face his inevitable death. I can't imagine. It is extremely hard. My heart goes out to him and his family.
     
  4. Doctor&Geek

    Doctor&Geek 25 > 5 / 15 < 8
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    Even though the story is tragic, I prefer to see it as a triumph of the human spirit. Instead of running away from the problem, Andy is doing all that he can to learn more about it, and contribute to knowledge that might help others with his plight in the future. He should be an inspiration to us all.

    Yours,
     
  5. Kenati

    Kenati Cooper's Drooper

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    When I was a public health student at Tulane, I worked directly under Dr. Curiel doing market research for his lab; which later resulted in a letter of recommendation and my acceptance to Tulane. Dr. Curiel is an INTENSELY busy man, spending most of his time devoted to writing grants, striving to pull in money in order to support the better known and well-funded research undertakings. It is difficult to describe him in words, but I can truly say with conviction that he is a doctor?s doctor.

    On the surface, it may seem silly to break the world record for bouncing a basketball for 24 hours in order to gain notoriety and support for a rare esoteric cancer with no known cure, but in reality his magnanimous efforts have set precedence for the study of tumor cell lines that would otherwise go unnoticed. How inspirational this story must be for those people who live with a rare form of cancer that little is know about. Perhaps their day will soon come as well.

    In the November-December Tulane newsletter, Andy Martin writes, ?As a student of medicine, nothing has ever made me feel so merely human as the collective uncertainty of the very best of our nation?s cancer doctors.?

    I am just starting out, but I can only imagine how many times we will feel ?merely human? as we experience the often helpless void of clinical uncertainty.

    Our hearts and prayers go out to Andy.
     
  6. carrigallen

    carrigallen 16th centry dutch painter
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    I don't understand why the cancer cannot at least be *treated* by surgery or radiotherapy like IMRT. :confused:
     
  7. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    what a great story. I wish him the best.
     
  8. tofurious

    tofurious Senior Member
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    I definitely admire the effort of Andy Martin and I think more time and $$$ should be devoted to the study of rare diseases that drug companies wouldn't fund due to a lack of strong market demand. However, this story raises many ethical questions that people involved must answer. What if his tumor is in some way (genetically) different from the majority of other people's tumors who are much more similar to each other? Would he abandon looking into his own tumor to study the mutation/disease that would benefit a greater number of people if a cure were found? Would his PI redirect the team effort? Would he spend more time culturing his own tumor cells or an equal amount of time to develop cell lines from others as well? What if he discovered an experimental therapy in lab that could damage tumor cells from him? Or a therapy that potentially could treat others' tumors but not his?

    A similar story surfaced earlier this year or late last year, when it was discovered that Craig Venter decoded his OWN genome. While IRBs generally get a bad name for being super cautious, ethical issues like this deserve much more IRB attention beyond the human factors.
     
  9. Jaded Soul

    Jaded Soul Proloxil > Zoloft
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    This has nothing to do with the thread, but I thought it's been known for a long time that Venter was the DNA donor? I remember one of my biology profs in college about 5 years ago saying something about how Celera was decoding Venter's genome.
     
  10. tofurious

    tofurious Senior Member
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    I don't think it was officially known. It was known that there were 10 donors of DNA and Venter was one of the 10, but the news that the first one decoded was his wasn't revealed until recently. (I could be wrong though)
     

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