August 10, 2011 |
With his blood cancer progressing and standard chemotherapies no longer working, the patient decided to try an experimental gene therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Twenty-two days after getting a very low dose, he had to be hospitalized because of toxic effects on his kidneys and liver - a problem the researchers had anticipated but considered unlikely. And then, the very next day, something happened that the researchers had not anticipated, despite 20 years of refining the gene therapy.
June 5, 2011 |
ATLANTA - I'm not getting sick. I'm not getting sick. I'm about to go on vacation, and I'm not getting sick. That's what you're telling yourself because you bought the tickets months ago, you've worked a lot of overtime, and you deserve some R&R. So you've decided to ignore that slight sniffle, hovering headache, and raw throat. No matter how congested you are, you're going to board that plane and try not to sneeze on the lady next to you in the aisle seat. The last thing anybody wants to do is spend his or her scheduled time off being ill - especially these days, when many employers lump vacation and sick time into one pot, and unexpected stomach flu can swallow time saved for a getaway.
May 15, 2011 |
The disease is new and, so far, incurable. It is increasingly common and can occur at any age. It typically involves an allergic reaction to foods - in severe cases, all foods - and can turn the pleasurable act of eating into a torment of swallowing problems, pain, vomiting, and choking. If this is the first time you've heard of eosinophilic esophagitis (ee-oh-sin-oh-FILL-ic es-offa-JI-tis), it won't be the last. Add "EoE" to the growing list of ways in which the immune system can go horribly haywire for no apparent reason.
April 28, 2011
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. " - Proverbs 17:22 DO THE SLUMPING economy, skyrocketing gas prices and record unemployment have you saying things like, "Hey, pinch me, wake me up, or at least tell me this is all some sick April Fool's joke, huh?" We're all facing so many challenges these days, but one of the best ways to cope and even improve our health and well-being doesn't cost a thing. Just laugh. Skeptical, are you? Well, in recent years plenty of scientific evidence has confirmed that laugher decreases stress, reduces pain and strengthens your immune system, among other wonders.
October 14, 2010 |
Richard G. Carroll, 52, of Wallingford, a cancer researcher at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, died Friday, Sept. 24, of complications from pancreatic cancer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1999, Dr. Carroll joined the medical school's department of molecular and cellular engineering. He later shifted to the department of pathology and laboratory medicine. He was principal investigator at Penn for several grants from the National Institutes of Health to explore ways to condition the immune system to fight cancer.
May 10, 2010
Uncovering a new connection between body and mind, a Canadian study has shown that just looking at pictures of sick people can rev up the human immune system. The researchers, from the University of British Columbia, treated a group of volunteers to a 10-minute slide show of sniffling, congested, pox-riddled people or close-ups of infected sores. Then they measured an immune protein called interleukin-6 in their blood, a standard test that can approximate immune response. They published their results in last week's issue of the journal Psychological Science.
January 20, 2009 |
Smiles and electric glances volleyed back and forth between conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu as intricate chunks of the Barber Piano Concerto fell easily into place. That first rehearsal with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra Friday should have been tedious. And Liu should be jittery about his first Philadelphia concerto appearance, tonight at the Kimmel Center, since 1994. Instead, the situation is particularly sweet, considering that any concerto would have been out of the question a decade ago, when his hands were all but useless.
April 12, 2008 |
VANILLA ICE (real name Robert Van Winkle, and how great is that?) was out on his own recognizance early yesterday afternoon after spending the night in jail for allegedly shoving his wife. The one-hit wonder ("Ice Ice Baby") was arrested Thursday night at his home in Wellington, Fla., by police who responded to a domestic-dispute call. According to an arrest report, Laura Van Winkle told a sheriff deputy at the scene that her husband had only pushed her, although she had told a dispatcher she'd been "struck" and "kicked.
March 24, 2008 |
An intruder is inside your body. Maybe it's a parasite from dirty drinking water. A virus from a coworker's sneeze. Or a bacterium that sneaked in when you cut your finger. Luckily for you, the immune system determines just which one of its many weapons will best repel the intruder, and what's more, it "remembers" how to do the job even better, and faster, next time. This phenomenon of immune memory has been recognized since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, yet no one could figure out how it worked.
October 6, 2007
OK. It didn't work. But don't stop now. In fact, let's work twice as hard. Those are the take-away lessons from the Sept. 21 announcement that a prototype AIDS vaccine being tested by Merck had failed in the second of three phases of testing needed for market approval. Merck did the right thing: It stopped the trials as soon as its scientists saw people weren't benefitting. But it's a major blow to hopes that Merck had a hot lead, and to hopes for a workable AIDS vaccine in the foreseeable future.