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12 January 2007 @ 12:37 pm
What Gleevec Tells us About Cancer  
Dr. Henry Koon has a lot to say about AIDS related Kaposi's Sarcoma, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) and about Cancer  - In General.

Cancer was presumed to be  "of  a kind" like Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" Big Black Monolith. All the same, impenetrable and unknowable... with dire consequences for mankind.

Along comes a clinical trial that says "Hey, This type of Cancer, and only this type, needs an exact thingy to grow. Lets make sure it doesn't get any of that thingy and see what happens. Viola! Cancer dies. What does this mean? Well, not only are cancers different because:
1. You can catch them (HPV) or you can't (Pancreatic)
2. You can increase your odds through contact (Asbestosis) or behavior (smoking)
3. You can be genetically vulnerable (Colorectal) or not (Melanoma)
But you can be everything or nothing all at once! (Breast)

Old timey oncologists:

New timey oncologists:

This means we may not rid the world of cancer in YOUR lifetime, but we are going to whittle away at the monolith by helping people identify which behaviors to avoid (unprotected sun exposure) and which behaviors to do (EAT RIGHT!!!!!!); what cancers we are likely to get (genetic testing). And which TYPE of cancer we have, to tailor our chemo, like our clothes, just for us.  Like Time Magazine said, this time it's all about YOU!