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Cancer. Just saying the word on its own can be scary, especially if you've ever lost a loved one to the disease or if you've faced it yourself.

And a big reason for that has to do with one of its common treatments — chemotherapy — which causes intense side effects like hair loss, nausea, and weakened immune systems. (And that's when it works!)

But a new breakthrough treatment cured cancerous tumors in 97% of mice during recent trials at Stanford University. Now researchers are soliciting around 35 human patients for tests that are expected to begin before the end of 2018.


Unlike other cancer treatments, this immune-system-based approach is potentially low-impact, avoiding chemotherapy altogether.

"The thing to understand is how much of a game changer this is," said Dr. Michelle Hermiston, director of pediatric immunotherapy at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, the first hospital in the state to implement a different immunotherapy treatment for lymphoma and leukemia patients. "If it's your kid, it makes a huge difference," she said.

Dr. Ronald Levy, a Stanford oncology professor who is leading the study, said that if the Food and Drug Administration approves the treatment after human trials, it could appear on the market within one to two years.

This chemotherapy-free treatment uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer cells.

Levy says the treatment is not a permanent cure, but it uses the body's defense mechanisms to attack certain types of cancer cells.

It works by using an injection that stimulates the body's T cells to attack tumors. Levy also said the current treatment is not a magic bullet for all types of cancers because different cancer cells behave differently. For this study, he and his team are focusing on people with low-grade lymphoma.

"Getting the immune system to fight cancer is one of the most recent developments in cancer," he said. "People need to know that this is in its early days, and we are still looking for safety and looking to make this as good as it can be."

In an era of bad news, scientists have reminded us how to be hopeful.

An estimated 7.6 million people die from cancer each year. More than 70,000 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma each year, and while survival rates are relatively high, any progress on that front is great news. And during a time when our world can often feel overwhelmed with bad news, it's a welcome reminder that scientific progress continues to march forward.

This week alone, scientists announced the discovery of an entirely new organ in the human body, a development that could fundamentally alter our understanding of how diseases like cancer quickly spread to other parts of the body.

If we pay attention, science is bringing us good news practically every day with amazing progress in medicine, technology, exploration, and a greater understanding of human nature itself.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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Democracy

A man told me gun laws would create more 'soft targets.' He summed up the whole problem.

As far as I know, there are only two places in the world where people living their lives are referred to as 'soft targets.'

Photo by Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash

Only in America are kids in classrooms referred to as "soft targets."

On the Fourth of July, a gunman opened fire at a parade in quaint Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people, injuring dozens and traumatizing (once again) an entire nation.

My family member who was at the parade was able to flee to safety, but the trauma of what she experienced will linger. For the toddler with the blood-soaked sock, carried to safety by a stranger after being pulled from under his father's bullet-torn body, life will never be the same.

There's a phrase I keep seeing in debates over gun violence, one that I can't seem to shake from my mind. After the Uvalde school shooting, I shared my thoughts on why arming teachers is a bad idea, and a gentleman responded with this brief comment:

"Way to create more soft targets."

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Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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