Friday, September 28, 2007

Cure for Cancer, page 7 below the fold

I don't know how closely it's being followed, but the drug developed at the University of Alberta that has been shown to stop and shrink cancer cells in rats is going to human trial. This is taking place without major funding from pharmaceuticals and is relying only on grants and donations from private citizens. I'm not surprised that the pharms are hedging their bets by shutting down a drug cash cow like cancer. If tumours can be stopped from growing or shrunk, they're going to have to rely on AIDS and athlete's foot to fill their coffers. Whether or not major pharmaceuticals intend to sue for restraint of trade is unclear. At the moment a doctor who took an oath to help the sick with his expertise is going to test his new drug on patients with large tumours in their brains. The funding will last for one year during which extensive testing will be done on the patients who receive the treatment.

I know I should be excited, shouting in the streets and so on. I should be screaming that this progress is underwhelming and no-one is making enough of a fuss. The police opened fire in Myanmar yesterday, they shot into a crowd of protesters and they've been hauling monks off in trucks. No-one knows where they are being taken too and that worries me more than the rest.

A woman in Ohio was electrocuted last night during her arrest. The officer claimed she wouldn't calm down. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned beating? Was this officer too self-conscious to physically subdue a small woman? And how did he expect her to calm down with 50,000 volts going through her body? These police actions deeply disturb me. I notice our government making no protest. I notice no member of the leadership discussing these events. I worry that these electrocution devices are in the hands of our police officers too. I can't help but wonder how long it will take for this to happen here.

We should be in a state of euphoric rage today. We should be passionate about the chance to kill a nefarious disease. We should be appalled at the actions of the police in Burma and enraged at the actions of police in the US. We are quiet, we don't want it to be us. Don't single us out with your high-voltage spotlight, we're just going along.

This is where to donate funds to cure cancer. Cure it. Not stop it, stymie it, manage it or live with it. This is where we can save each other from something bigger than our own hubris. Why in times to come, we may end up taking it as a preventative in order to live peacefully next to solid, reliable cooling towers.

This is a cure that doesn't milk the ill. While police assault us the world over, let us help each other live today.

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