New Trial Vaccine Could Treat Ovarian Cancer, But Chlamydia Increases Risk Of The Disease

Two coincidentally timed announcements offer good and bad news on ovarian cancer. Despite not being one of the most common forms of cancer, ovarian cancer is particularly hard to treat, so it causes a disproportionate number of deaths. Now, a new approach to treatment has passed Phase I clinical trials, but the problem could become worse before it reaches the market, since a separate study found that chlamydia, whose frequency is rising, is a risk factor.

Although the ovaries are less susceptible to cancer than the breasts or bowel, 22,000 American women are diagnosed with the condition each year, with similar rates elsewhere. Moreover, the disease has fewer distinctive early symptoms than many of its counterparts, so by the time it is detected, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may all be required. With less than half of those diagnosed surviving after five years, even with good medical facilities it is a major cause of death. Even pre-emptive action, such as that taken by Angelina Jolie to have her ovaries removed, doesn’t totally guarantee protection.

In a webinar briefing on research to be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in April, Dr Britton Trabert of the National Cancer Institute announced two independent studies reporting cancer rates are higher among women with Pgp3 antibodies, which indicate past chlamydia infection.

Antibodies for a variety of other sexually transmitted infections were not associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer. Given that chlamydia is the most common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and PID has been associated with ovarian cancer before, the results are unsurprising, but still concerning as chlamydia rates rebound.

Hopes for better treatment options rose, however, with the publication in Clinical Cancer Research of a trial of an immune therapy to treat the disease. Like all Phase I trials, this was done on a small sample of people, in this case, just 14. Consequently, it’s too early to tell just how effective the TPIV200 therapeutic vaccine used in the trial really is, particularly since there was no randomized control group.

Nevertheless, the trial succeeded in its goals of generating a lasting immune response, and almost doubled the usual period before disease progression began. Only one patient experienced a serious side effect. The findings were sufficiently promising and a Phase II trial is already underway. The trial also tested the responses of eight breast cancer patients to the vaccine, with similar positive effects.

TPIV200 targets the Folate Receptor Alpha, implicated in ovarian and some breast cancers. It stimulates the immune system’s helper cells to attack tumors, which should, in theory, produce far fewer side effects than chemotherapy, and has the potential to be extended to many other types of cancer.

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Longtime Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter Dies At 88

WASHINGTON ― Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), one of the longest-serving women in the U.S. House, died early Friday at the age of 88.

She died at George Washington University Hospital, her office confirmed in a statement. She had been hospitalized for a concussion after a fall at her Washington home last week, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

“As the first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, Louise blazed a path that many women continue to follow,” said her chief of staff, Liam Fitzsimmons. “It is difficult to find a segment of society that Louise didn’t help shape over the course of more than thirty years in Congress, from health care to genetic nondiscrimination to historic ethics reforms. The Slaughter family is incredibly grateful for all the support during this difficult time. Details on funeral arrangements will be provided when they are available.”

Slaughter was elected to Congress in 1986. She was known for championing women’s and reproductive rights during her time in the House. In 2007, she became the first woman to chair the powerful House Rules Committee.

Having grown up in Kentucky coal country, Slaughter went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in public health. She then moved to New York City to work for Procter & Gamble, at which point she became interested in politics. In 1982, she was elected to New York’s State Assembly, where she remained until she won her U.S. House seat and became the first woman to represent western New York.

Some of the first policies she helped pass reflected her work as a defender of women: the allocation of $500 million in federal funding for breast cancer research and the mandated inclusion of women and minorities in all federal health trials. She co-authored the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which offered legal avenues to women who were victims of crime.

Slaughter was part of the group of seven Democratic congressional women who in 1991 marched up the steps of the U.S. Capitol, attempting to delay the confirmation process for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. They were unsuccessful in demanding the male leaders of the Senate to fully investigate Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against Thomas.

“There’s no monolithic way that women respond to this. But we are the people who write the laws of the land. Good Lord, she should have some recourse here,” Slaughter said at the time, according to The New York Times.

In 1996, she was one of only a handful of Democrats who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court struck down in 2013, paving the way for LGBTQ couples to legally marry.

She marked her time as the first female chairwoman of the House Rules Committee from 2007 to 2011 by playing a role in passing other historic legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. Slaughter was a co-chair and founding member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) commemorated Slaughter as “a trailblazer.”

“Her strong example inspired countless young women to know their power, and seek their rightful place at the head of the decision-making table,” she said in a statement on Friday.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who currently chairs the Rules Committee, remembered Slaughter as “a fearless leader, deeply committed to her constituents, and a dear friend.”

“As the first female Chairwoman of our Committee, she was a force to be reckoned with, who always brought her spunk, fire, and dynamic leadership to every meeting,” Sessions said in a statement. “Although we sat on different sides of the aisle, I have always considered her a partner and have the utmost respect for her.”

Slaughter was married to husband Bob Slaughter for 57 years, until his death in 2014, according to her office. She is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 

This story has been updated with statements from Pelosi and Sessions.

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I have prostate cancer. But I am happy | George Monbiot

The three principles that define a good life will protect me from despair, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot

It came, as these things often do, like a gunshot on a quiet street: shocking and disorienting. In early December, my urine turned brown. The following day I felt feverish and found it hard to pee. I soon realised I had a urinary tract infection. It was unpleasant, but seemed to be no big deal. Now I know that it might havesavedmy life.

The doctor told me this infection was unusual in a man of my age, and hinted at an underlying condition. So I had a blood test, which revealed that my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were off the scale. An MRI scan and a mortifying biopsy confirmed my suspicions. Prostate cancer: all the smart young men have itthisseason.

On Monday, I go into surgery. The prostate gland is buried deep in the body, so removing it is a major operation: there are six entry points and it takes four hours. The procedure will hack at the roots of my manhood. Because of the damage that will be caused to the surrounding nerves, theres a high risk of permanent erectile dysfunction. Because the urethra needs to be cut and reattached to the bladder, I will almost certainly suffer urinary incontinence for a few months, and possibly permanently. Because the removal of part of the urethra retracts the penis, it appears to shrink, at least until it can be stretched back into shape.

I was offered a choice: radical surgery or brachytherapy. This means implanting radioactive seeds in the parts of the prostate affected by cancer. Brachytherapy has fewer side effects, and recovery is much faster. But theres a catch. If it fails to eliminate the cancer, theres nothing more that can be done. This treatment sticks the prostate gland to the bowel and bladder, making surgery extremely difficult. Once youve had one dose of radiation, they wont give you another. I was told that the chances of brachytherapy working in my case were between 70 and 80%. The odds were worse, in other words, than playing Russian roulette (which, with one bullet in a six-chambered revolver, gives you 83%). Though I have a tendency to embrace risk, this was not an attractive option.

It would be easy to curse my luck and start to ask, Why me? I have never smoked and hardly drink; I have a ridiculously healthy diet and follow a severe fitness regime. Im 20 or 30 years younger than most of the men I see in the waiting rooms. In other words, I would have had a lower risk of prostate cancer only if I had been female. And yet I am happy. In fact, Im happier than I was before my diagnosis. How can this be?

The reason is that Ive sought to apply the three principles which, I believe, sit at the heart of a good life. The first is the most important: imagine how much worse it could be, rather than how much better.

When you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your condition is ranked on the Gleason Score, which measures its level of aggression. Mine is graded at seven out of 10. But this doesnt tell me where I stand in general. I needed another index to assess the severity of my condition, so I invented one: the Shitstorm Scale. How does my situation compare to those of people I know, who contend with other medical problems or family tragedies? How does it compare to what might have been, had the cancer not been caught while it was still apparently confined to the prostate gland? How does it compare to innumerable other disasters that could have befallen me?

When I completed the exercise, I realised that this bad luck, far from being a cause of woe, is a reminder of how lucky I am. I have the love of my family and friends. I have the support of those with whom I work. I have the NHS. My Shitstorm Score is a mere two out of 10.

The tragedy of our times is that, rather than apply the most useful of English proverbs cheer up, it could be worse we are constantly induced to imagine how much better things could be. The rich lists and power lists with which the newspapers are filled, our wall-to-wall celebrity culture, the invidious billions spent on marketing and advertising, create an infrastructure of comparison that ensures we see ourselves as deprived of what others possess. It is a formula for misery.

The second principle is this: change what you can change, accept what you cant. This is not a formula for passivity Ive spent my working life trying to alter outcomes that might have seemed immovable to other people. The theme of my latest book is that political failure is, at heart, a failure of imagination. But sometimes we simply have to accept an obstacle as insuperable. Fatalism in these circumstances is protective. I accept that my lap is in the lap of the gods.

So I will not rage against the morbidity this surgery might cause. I wont find myself following Groucho Marx who, at the age of 81, magnificently lamented: Im going to Iowa to collect an award. Then Im appearing at Carnegie Hall, its sold out. Then Im sailing to France to pick up an honour from the French government. Id give it all up for one erection. And today theres Viagra.

The third principle is this: do not let fear rule your life. Fear hems us in, stops us from thinking clearly, and prevents us from either challenging oppression or engaging calmly with the impersonal fates. When I was told that this operation had an 80% chance of success, my first thought was thats roughly the same as one of my kayaking trips. And about twice as good as the chance of emerging from those investigations in West Papua and the Amazon.

There are, I believe, three steps to overcoming fear: name it, normalise it, socialise it. For too long, cancer has been locked in the drawer labelled Things We Dont Talk About. When we call it the Big C, it becomes, as the term suggests, not smaller, but larger in our minds. He Who Must Not Be Named is diminished by being identified, and diminished further when he becomes a topic of daily conversation.

The super-volunteer Jeanne Chattoe, whom I interviewed recently for another column, reminded me that, just 25 years ago, breast cancer was a taboo subject. Thanks to the amazing advocacy of its victims, this is almost impossible to imagine today. Now we need to do the same for other cancers. Let there be no moreterriblesecrets.

So I have sought to discuss my prostate cancer as I would discuss any other issue. I make no apologies for subjecting you to the grisly details: the more familiar they become, the less horrifying. In doing so, I socialise my condition. Last month, I discussed the remarkable evidence suggesting that a caring community enhances recovery and reduces mortality. In talking about my cancer with family and friends, I feel the love that I know will get me through this. The old strategy of suffering in silence could not have been more misguided.

I had intended to use this column to urge men to get themselves tested. But since my diagnosis, weve discovered two things. The first is that prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer in the UK. The second is that the standard assessment (the PSA blood test) is of limited use. As prostate cancer in its early stages is likely to produce no symptoms, its hard to see what men can do to protect themselves. That urinary tract infection was a remarkably lucky break.

Instead, I urge you to support the efforts led by Prostate Cancer UK to develop a better test. Breast cancer has attracted twice as much money and research as prostate cancer, not because (as the Daily Mail suggests) men are the victims of injustice, but because womens advocacy has been so effective. Campaigns such as Men United and the Movember Foundation have sought to bridge this gap, but theres a long way to go. Prostate cancer is discriminatory: for reasons unknown, black men are twice as likely to suffer it as white men. Finding better tests and treatments is a matter of both urgencyand equity.

I will ride this out. I will own this disease, but I wont be defined by it: I will not be prostrated by my prostate. I will be gone for a few weeks but when I return, I do solemnly swear I will still be the argumentative old git with whom you are familiar.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

Prostate Cancer UK can be contacted on 0800 0748383

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Elizabeth Hurley’s nephew stabbed ‘several’ times by knife in London

Liz Hurley dashed back to Britain on Friday after learning her nephew had been stabbed repeatedly.

The star, 52, flew from the US as model Miles Hurley, 21, was fighting for his life following the attack in a London street.

Model Miles was stabbed in a street in Nine Elms, South West London, at 8 p.m. on Thursday following a fight with a stranger.

It is understood that he was stabbed several times.

A source said: “His family feared the worst. Fortunately. it seems the knife missed his vital organs.”

Liz is especially close to Miles, whose mom is her older sister Kate Curran, 54.

Miles has done shoots for fashion king Roberto Carvalli and Dolce & Gabbana.

His star aunt was pictured arriving at Heathrow around 9 a.m on. Friday, before visiting him.

Liz was in the US promoting her show The Royals.

She is known to be very fond of Miles and in 2013 proudly tweeted one of his early modelling shots, declaring “Here’s my handsome nephew.”

This story originally appeared in the New York Post. 

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5 Movies With Horrifying Aftermaths

Pretty much all Hollywood movies have happy endings. And while that’s great for wish fulfillment, it doesn’t exactly reflect reality. In life, every single hero’s story eventually ends with “and then they died.” And hey, turns out that movies work that way too if you think their events through to their logical conclusions. Here are a bunch of films which, if you kept watching, would slowly turn dark and horrifying.


The Incredibles — Children Will Be Forced Into Relocation Programs

The Incredibles is set in a world in which superheroes exist, but everyone hates them because of their nasty habit of breaking absolutelyeverything. At the start of the film, a series of lawsuits have forced all the superheroes to reveal their identities to the government, after which they are forcibly relocated into boring suburban lives. However, Mr. Incredible and his family regain the admiration of the public by destroying a giant robot, and by the end of the movie, they’re kicking supervillain butt as a family.

The Problem:

It’s kind of adorable that the Incredibles even bothered to put on their masks in that last scene, because remember, the government knows who they are. They know who every superhero is. So what’s gonna happen the next time someone’s Lexus turns into a crater during a superpowered battle? Those lawsuits are going to come roaring back with a vengeance. It’s not like people are getting less litigious.

The Parr kids have gotten a taste of the hero life, but they’ll inevitably be forced to relocate again. And that’s the best-case scenario. At least their parents had a decent amount of time as heroes before being forced to shut it down, and even then, look how Mr. Incredible handled his newfound mediocrity:

Pixar“Can’t fire me if you’re in a coma.”

It’s not hard to imagine an adult Dash finding himself in a similar situation as his father, working a crappy day job while moonlighting as a frustrated superhero, ripping up his whole family’s roots every time he slips up and tries to help someone. Of course, this is all pure speculation. It’s not as if Pixar likes subjecting its characters to unbearably sad situations or anything.


Evan Almighty Proves That God Exists, And That Has Some Heavy Implications

In Evan Almighty (the sequel to Jim Carrey’s Bruce Almighty and prequel to Billy Baldwin’s direct-to-DVD Billy Baldwin Almighty), Steve Carell stars as Evan Baxter, a newscaster turned congressman. One day, Evan receives a message from Morgan “God” Freeman, telling him to build an ark to prepare for a flood. Evan reluctantly complies, while everyone in town mocks and ridicules him. That is, until the foretold flood happens and all those people rush right onto Evan’s Ark for salvation.

In the end, not one person dies in a flood of literally biblical proportions, and Evan is celebrated as a hero, rather than a lucky crackpot with a boat, of which there are many.

The Problem:

Hey, did you know that according to a 2017 study, 26 percent of Americans don’t believe in God? Now imagine all of those people finding out that their whole concept of life and morality has been wrong all along. (Now imagine that crisis being instigated by Steve Carrell, of all people.)

Universal PicturesAnd wait until the racist ones find out about God’s skin tone.

And what about extremists and fundamentalists? Definite confirmation that God is real and has yet to strike them down would tell them that they’re onto something. How many sexual minorities and atheist holdouts would die on the first day alone? How many more on each subsequent day, as the extremists grow in number and conviction? But hey, Steve Carell patched things up with his wife, so it was all worth it.


Face/Off‘s Protagonist Will Have To Tell His Adopted Kid That He Impaled His Biological Dad With A Spear Gun

There are a lot of twists and turns in Face/Off, the only movie to ask the question on all of our minds each and every day: “What would happen if Nicolas Cage and John Travolta switched faces?” But in the end, FBI agent Sean Archer (Travolta) successfully kills international terrorist Castor Troy (Cage) and gets his original face back. He comes home to his traumatized wife and daughter with a little surprise — no, not Cage’s disembodied face, but it’s the next-best thing! Here’s Adam, the adorable son of the terrorist who almost murdered them all!

Paramount PicturesNo kid with that origin and that haircut ends up not becoming serial killer adult …

Archer grew fond of Adam and his mom while posing as Troy, and promised to take care of the kid before she died. The family accepts Adam with open arms, and all is well.

The Problem:

Adam looks to be around four or five years old, which means he’ll grow up with only vague memories of his mom and the weird Cagey guy who used to hang around from time to time. But at some point, Archer will be forced to sit the kid down and explain that not only was his real dad a deranged criminal, but also that Archer himself murdered said criminal with a spear gun after a wicked speedboat chase. If he wants to be completely honest with his adopted son, Archer will also have to disclose that he screamed “DIEEEEEEE!!!” while doing so.

So … when is the appropriate time to reveal something like this to your kid? Their tenth birthday? 18th? The 47th? Is it even possible to deliver this information in a non-traumatizing way, at any age? Hell, we only watched a movie about it, and we’re still traumatized to this day.


The Rock‘s Finale Means Nicolas Cage’s Family Is Doomed

In 1996’s The Rock, Sean Connery plays a former British spy who’s been in an FBI prison for 30 years because he stole microfilm containing America’s greatest secrets (JFK’s true killer, the Roswell aliens, Eleanor Roosevelt’s nudes, etc). Connery is recruited for a special mission alongside FBI chemist Stanley Goodspeed, played by Nicolas Cage. Yes, Cage’s name in this movie is “Stanley Goodspeed.” It is among his more subtle and restrained roles.

Touchstone PicturesSee?

Together, Cage and Connery successfully thwart a squad of rogue marines and save San Francisco, at which point it’s time for Connery to go back to his cell. But Cage does him a solid and fakes his death, which Connery repays by sharing the location of the long-hidden microfilm. The movie ends with Cage retrieving the film, about to spill the beans on JFK’s killer to his new wife.

The Problem:

The FBI’s hardass director seems to buy Cage’s halfhearted explanation that Connery was “vaporized” in an explosion, but there’s no way everyone else in the agency will. After all, this man could singlehandedly bring down the entire U.S. government. Once they realize there’s no evidence whatsoever that Connery died, they’ll start following Cage (with satellites if they have to), and will inevitably find out that he has the microfilm himself. Yes, the fate of the nation is in Nicolas Cage’s hands.

At this point, there are two possible outcomes: 1) Cage is caught by the FBI and locked in the deepest, darkest hole they can find (after all, they already did that once), or 2) he eludes the agents, but is forced to go on the run. With a new wife and a baby on the way. Whatever happens, that kid is gonna have a messed-up life. Man, being Nicolas Cage’s child in a movie sucks. It’s like the total opposite of real life, where having Nicolas Cage for a dad is all we dream of, every single night.


The Kid From The Iron Giant Is Definitely Getting Cancer

The end of The Iron Giant isn’t exactly happy, but it is hopeful. While the giant sacrifices himself to save the town, our protagonist, a little boy named Hogarth, does get an iron bolt found in the fallout of the nuclear explosion, which he keeps as a memento of his fallen friend.

Warner Bros. PicturesIf this were a human, that’d probably be like a finger or something.

Later that night, we see the bolt moving by itself, implying that the Giant’s various pieces are slowly coming together again. Look for Vin Diesel to return in 2 Iron 2 Giant.

The Problem:

You know who wouldn’t return if there was a sequel? Hogarth. Because he’d be dead.

Hogarth keeping a token from his buddy is a really sweet thought … except for the fact that it was completely bathed in radiation. Radiation from nuclear catastrophes stays on scrap metal for a very, very long time. We’re even experiencing a worldwide problem right now wherein metal used in military or industrial hardware has been melted down and reused, but the dangerous radiation lived on. In 2005, Taiwanese residents living in apartments made of this reused metal saw massive increases in leukemia and breast cancer. Again, this is reused and refined metal, decades after the fact.

Warner Bros. Pictures“Mom, another hair clump fell out … some teeth, too.”

Hogarth receives that bolt not long after it survived a nuclear explosion. If he doesn’t die soon after from radiation poisoning, he has about a 100 percent chance of developing cancer. So if you weren’t already weeping at the ending of The Iron Giant, you should be now.

Tim Chawaga writes here, on Twitter, and Please follow him. Jordan Breeding also writes for Paste Magazine, the Twitter, himself, and has been described by his parents as the horrifying aftermath of an otherwise-great thing. S.S.A is also on TopBuzz.

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For more deceivingly happy movie endings, check out 6 Happy Movie Endings That Actually Ruin the Hero’s Life and 6 Off-Screen Tragedies That Follow Happy Movie Endings.

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