The Anonymous Widower

‘Biggest Breakthrough’ On Pancreatic Cancer Is On The Horizon As Scientists Hail Two-In-One Teatment That Could Even CURE The Disease

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Daily Mail.

These three paragraphs give an introduction to the research.

Scientists are on the cusp of the ‘biggest ever’ breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

UK researchers have developed a two-in-one treatment that could dramatically improve survival and even cure the disease, which is one of the deadliest cancers.

Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have barely improved in the last 50 years and it has the worst prognosis of any common cancer.

It is a state, that you don’t want to go near.

This is the heart of the new two-in-one treatment.

One of the treatments is immunotherapy, whereby a drug fires up the immune system to fight the cancer.

The drug is a checkpoint inhibitor, which means it blocks proteins that stop the immune system from attacking cancer cells. It has had stunning results against some types of cancer.

But pancreatic cancer tumours have a thick outer layer which stops the drug in its tracks.

The second treatment, known as high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), involves blasting the tumour with pulses of sound waves.

This creates tiny bubbles in the cells, which bounce around with such force that they puncture holes in the protective barrier – allowing the immunotherapy drug to get to work.

I find it strange that I when I wrote Glencore & Strategic Partner Britishvolt Strengthen Relationship And Agree To Build Battery Recycling Ecosystem In The UK, I found that a similar technique is being investigated by the Faraday Institute in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

In this article on the BBC, which is entitled As The World looks To Electrify Vehicles And Store Renewable Power, One Giant Challenge Looms: What Will Happen To All The Old Lithium Batteries?, I found this paragraph.

The team has also found a way to achieve direct recycling of the anode and cathode using an ultrasonic probe, “like what the dentist uses to clean your teeth,” he explains. “It focuses ultrasound on a surface which creates tiny bubbles that implode and blast the coating off the surface.” This process avoids having to shred the battery parts, which can make recovering them exceedingly difficult.

Umpteen million tiny bubbles can’t be wrong! It sounds to me that engineers from the Faraday Institute and Medics from the Institute of Cancer Research have been imbibing pints of the thinking man’s liqueur; real ale in a serious meeting in a pub.

But if it works don’t knock it! Just use the technique on your project to remove an awkward coating.

My son, who died of pancreatic cancer was a coeliac like me, but he had never been tested and as he was a sound engineer in the music business, he lived on a diet of Subways, cigarettes and high strength cannabis.

I asked the Professor at Liverpool University’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Unit, if this had contributed to his death and he nodded.

But my son certainly, didn’t have my strong immune system, which is because I’m coeliac and have been gluten-free for nearly thirty years. I know it is strong, as it gave the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine a good kicking. But by the time I got the second dose, it had worked out it was a friend, so I got no reaction.

I have three questions.

What is the hard skin of the pancreatic cancer made from?

Do all cancers have hard skins?

When patients are given immunotherapy drugs, do they go gluten-free for a Tesco effect (Every little helps!)?

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

AstraZeneca May Explain Britain’s Lower Death Rate

The title for this post, is the same as that of this article on the The Times.

These are the second and third paragraph of the article.

Dr Clive Dix said he believed that the jab could help to stave off serious Covid-19 illness for longer than RNA-based alternatives made by Pfizer and Moderna. “If you look across Europe, with the rise in cases, there’s also a corresponding lagged rise in deaths, but not in the UK,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “I personally believe that’s because most of our vulnerable people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Dix suggested that the T cell response to the AstraZeneca jab may explain the lower level of hospital admissions and deaths.

Dr, Clive Dix is a former Deputy Chair of the Vaccines Taskforce.

I think that Dr. Dix may have a point.

I am coeliac and I know I have a strong immune system.

When I had my dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, I was fairly sure that my immune system gave the viral vector vaccine a good kicking, as it thought the chimpanzee adenovirus on which it is based could be a dangerous intruder.

But with the second dose, I got no reaction. Had my immune system decided that the vaccine was a friend?

I have mentioned this reaction to people and I have found some coeliacs, who had a similar reaction to the one that I had with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But more significantly, this summer, I suffered badly from hay fever. My GP told me that the high level could have been because the AstraZeneca vaccine had boosted my immune system.

I’ve only had it as bad once before and I suspect that was a couple of years after I went gluten-free, after being diagnosed as a coeliac. I suspect that that would have boosted my immune system.

I can do a small calculation.

I suspect, that there are about 40,000,000 in the UK who have been vaccinated with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

If we assume coeliacs are 1-in-100 of the population and most have been vaccinated, as they tend to be cautious about their food and health, that equates to 400,000 people who could be fully vaccinated and have an immune system with all the defensive strength of a whole regiment of special forces soldiers on steroids.

For some time now, various sources have been saying the models of the pandemic aren’t right.

I do wonder, if coeliacs with the AstraZeneca vaccine are super-immune and they are skewing the models. After all 400,000 with a super-immunity is a large number in comparison to the total number of deaths from the Covids in the UK, which stood at 171,801with the Covids on their death certificate tonight.

Conclusion

I am drawn to one big conclusion and that is more research needs to be done.

It would be a great help, if we knew how many coeliacs on long-term gluten-free diets had ended up in hospital.

I wouldn’t ask the doctors, but the catering departments, who would be providing the gluten-free food, that the coeliacs will be demanding.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Stole All The M & S Gluten-Free Food?

Over the last few weeks, certain gluten-free lines in Marks and Spencer have started getting difficult to find.

Some of the things, I like that have been difficult have included.

  • Ginger snap biscuits.
  • Gluten-free pies
  • Scones
  • Bloomer slices
  • Gluten-free muesli

Note that my supper is usually something I cook myself from scratch or one of the many M & S ready meals, that contain no gluten. It is usually washed down by a bottle of Adnams low-alcohol beer and followed by some fruit. Tonight, the fruit will be one of my favourites, which are strawberries and bananas.

I did think that the shortage of the lines I mentioned was due to a supply problem.

But then, there have not been shortages of other lines, that I buy, that are not specifically gluten-free.

So is it some gluten-free suppliers are having problems? Possibly.

But!

Regular readers of this blog will know that I believe that those coeliacs on a long-term gluten free diet seem to be unlikely to suffer a severe dose of the dreaded covids. There was no battle with the second dose!

I know for a start that my immune system gives short shift to any viral invaders, as it did with the AstraZeneca vaccine before they came to a truce.

So have others, including some with more medical knowledge than myself, come to the same conclusion about coeliac disease, the immune system, gluten and the covids and have gone gluten-free for safety?

For example, I’ve heard that those suffering from long covid have been tested for coeliac disease.

I’d love to be able to analyse the sales of gluten-free food.

 

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

I’m Glad I’m Getting Pfizer As My Booster

In Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine, I summarised the battle going on in my body over the last few months, between hay fever and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

I wonder what my strong immune system will make of the Pfizer vaccine. I must admit, I’m tempted to just continue with my gluten-free diet and let my immune system sort out the squabble on its own!

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine

I am 73 and was diagnosed as a coeliac at 50.

I am fairly sure, I have suffered from hay fever all my life, but usually I can control it.

This year, it has been particularly bad and I asked my GP about it last night. He indicated it had been a bad year.

I then said that as being a coeliac I have a strong immune system and from what I have read, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine also boosts the immune system.

I just wonder, if my coeliac disease and the vaccine are both attacking the hay fever and making me feel, so much worse than in any other year.

Certainly, all I want to do, is lie down!

I’m certainly so much worse than I was last year, when Covid-19 was the same, but I hadn’t been vaccinated.

The only time my eyes felt so bad was sometime around 2000, when they were so sore, I had to have an operation to remove polyps.

This could have been a few years after I went gluten-free, which would surely have boosted my immune system.

 

July 28, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 3 Comments

Rolls-Royce Seeks Private Funds To Power Nuclear Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

The article is based on this press release on the Rolls-Royce web site, which is entitled More Power And Updated Design Revealed As Nuclear Power Team Targets First Place In The Assessment Queue In Autumn 2021.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, which is creating a compact nuclear power station known as a small modular reactor (SMR), has revealed its latest design and an increase in power as it completes its first phase on time and under budget.

It has also announced it is aiming to be the first design to be assessed by regulators in the second half of 2021 in the newly-opened assessment window, which will keep it on track to complete its first unit in the early 2030s and build up to 10 by 2035.

It would appear that they are following AstraZeneca’s example and building the relationships with the regulators early, so the process of regulation doesn’t delay entry into service.

An Updated Design

These two paragraphs describe the design changes.

As the power station’s design has adjusted and improved during this latest phase – with more than 200 major engineering decisions made during this latest phase – the team has optimised the configuration, efficiency and performance criteria of the entire power station , which has increased its expected power capacity, without additional cost, from 440 megawatts (MW) to 470MW.

The refreshed design features a faceted aesthetic roof; an earth embankment surrounding the power station to integrate with the surrounding landscape; and a more compact building footprint, thanks to successes optimising the use of floor space.

These changes appear to be positive ones.

Transformation To A Focussed Business

Rolls-Royce are transforming the current consortium to an as yet unnamed stand-alone business, as detailed in this paragraph from the press release.

With a focus on continuing its progress at pace, the UK SMR team is transitioning from being a collaborative consortium to a stand-alone business, which will deliver a UK fleet of power stations to become a low carbon energy bastion alongside renewables, while securing exports to make the power station a key part of the world’s decarbonisation toolkit.

Are Rolls-Royce aiming to repeat the success they’ve had with Merlins in World War II and large turbofan engines for airliners with small modular nuclear reactors that decarbonise the world? The strategy is certainly not going against the heritage of the company.

Use Of A Small Modular Nuclear Reactor

This paragraph from the press release outlines a few uses.

The power station’s compact size makes it suitable for a variety of applications, helping decarbonise entire energy systems. Each power station can supply enough reliable low carbon power for around one million* homes, or be used to power net zero hydrogen and synthetic aviation fuel manufacturing facilities, desalination plants or energy intensive industrial sites.

Their size would appear to increase the number of applications.

Hydrogen Production

I particularly like the idea of using an SMR to produce hydrogen for chemical feedstock or to make steel.

I indicated this in Will INEOS And Rolls-Royce Get Together Over Hydrogen Production?

I estimate that a 470 MW SMR would produce around 4,900 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The numbers certainly seem convenient.

Cost Of Energy And Capital Costs

Tom Samson, Chief Executive Officer of the UK SMR consortium is quoted as saying.

Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, securing economic recovery and strengthening energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings down its cost to be comparable with offshore wind at around £50 per megawatt-hour.

Hinckley Point C has a strike price of over £80 per megawatt-hour.

The release also gives a price of around £2.2 billion per unit dropping to £1.8 billion by the time five have been completed.

Benefits To The UK

The press release lists these benefits to the UK.

  • create 40,000 regional UK jobs by 2050
  • generate £52 billion of economic benefit
  • have 80% of the plant’s components sourced from the UK
  • target an additional £250 billion of exports – memoranda of understanding are already in place with Estonia, Turkey and the Czech Republic

The value of exports would indicate export sales of over a hundred reactors.

Lifetime

The press release indicates the following about the lifetime of the reactors.

  • The reactor will operate for at least 60 years.
  • The design, which will be finalised at the end of the regulatory assessment process, proposes that all used fuel will be stored on each site for the lifetime of the plant.

I would assume that Rolls-Royce are developing a philosophy for taking the SMRs apart at the end of their life.

Construction

This paragraph from the press release talks about the construction process.

The power station’s design cuts costs by using standard nuclear energy technology used in 400 reactors around the world, so no prototyping is required. The components for the power station are manufactured in modules in factories, before being transported to existing nuclear sites for rapid assembly inside a weatherproof canopy. This replicates factory conditions for precision activities and further cuts costs by avoiding weather disruptions. The whole sequence secures efficiency savings by using streamlined and standardised processes for manufacturing and assembly, with 90% of activities carried out in factory conditions, helping maintain extremely high quality. In addition, all spoil excavated will be reused on site to build the earth embankment, removing the need for it to taken off site, reducing road journeys that are both financially and environmentally costly.

I have talked to project managers, who have assembled factory-built railway stations and their experiences would back the Rolls-Royce method of construction.

My project management knowledge would also indicate, that the construction of an SMR could be much more predictable than most construction projects, if the factory-built modules are built to the specification.

Funding

According to the article in The Times, the consortium now seems to be in line for £215 million of Government funding, which will unlock £300 million of private funding.

Conclusion

It looks like this project will soon be starting to roll.

 

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

My INR Readings Before And After My Second AstraZeneca Jab

I am on long-term Warfarin after a serious stroke.

I also measure my own INR using a simple hand-held meter.

So with all the fuss about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, I thought I’d do an experiment around my second dose of the vaccine.

I maintained a constant Warin dose of 3.5 mg, which is the daily dose, I have agreed with my GP.

I maintained a reasonably constant diet. That is fairly easy if you’re coeliac and on a long-term gluten-free diet, as I am.

measured my INR every morning.

These are my results.

  • April 12th – 2.3
  • April 13th – 2.8
  • April 14th – 2.8
  • April 15th – 2.9
  • April 16th – 2.5
  • April 17th – 2.3
  • April 18th – 2.3
  • April 19th – 2.4 – 2nd Jab
  • April 20th – 2.2
  • April 21st – 2.2
  • April 22nd – 2.6
  • April 23rd – 2.5
  • April 24th – 2.4
  • April 25th – 2.7
  • April 26th – 3.0
  • April 27th – 2.7
  • April 28th – 2,5
  • April 29th – 3.0
  • April 30th – 3.1
  • May 1st – 2.9
  • May 2nd – No Data
  • May 3rd – 2.8

It would appear that the results have been less stable since the second jab.

I am a Control Engineer with a B. Eng. from Liverpool University and I’m not surprised at these results.

It’s just like the bounce you get when the wheel of your car hits a pothole.

I would suggest that more research needs to be done.

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blood Clot Risk Eight Times Higher From Covid Than AstraZeneca Vaccine, Study Finds

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Telegraph.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The risk of a rare brain clot from coronavirus is approximately eight times greater the risk presented by the AstraZeneca jab, a University of Oxford study has found.

The research, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, and compared blood clot rates among 500,000 coronavirus patients with data from the roll-out of 34 million vaccine doses across Europe.

I will certainly be having my second AstraZeneca jab next Monday.

This press release on the Astra-Zeneca web site is entitled Oxford Phase III trials interim analysis results published in The Lancet.

This is an extract.

In addition to the Oxford led programme, AstraZeneca is conducting a large study in the US and globally. In total, Oxford University and AstraZeneca expect to enrol more than 60,000 participants globally.

The Telegraph article also says this.

The incidence of rates for cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) – a rare blood clot on the brain – is 39 per million coronavirus patients, while it is five per million recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Note that five per million is 0.3 per 60,000.

Any participant, who got a blood clot in the AstraZeneca Phase III trial would have been a very unlucky person.

Those who say, that the AstraZeneca vaccine was rushed and that many more people should participated in the trials may have a point.

But countering that is my belief that data analysis has improved so much in the last twenty years that all the data on all the vaccines has been so thoroughly analysed by some of the best data analysts and analytic software, that most more common problems have been identified.

 

 

April 15, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 8 Comments

UK Medicines Watchdog ‘Considers Limiting Use Of Oxford-AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine In Young’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The medicines watchdog is considering restricting use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in younger people, it was reported last night.

Channel 4 News said sources had told it that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) could decide as soon as today after concerns about very rare cases of blood clots potentially linked to the vaccine.

I’m, no medic, but I do find, I got a different reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine to that of my friends.

But I am coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet and have therefore got a strong immune system.

I believe my immune system gave the vaccine and its carrier a bit of a kicking.

But then it did that four months ago, with a pneumococcal vaccine.

There is a peer-reviewed Danish study, which I wrote about in A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots.

I just wonder if there is a link in there somewhere.

All those, who have suffered blood clots after having the AstraZeneca vaccine should at least be tested for coeliac disease.

 

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Have I Got Thrombophilia?

I was chatting on-line on The Times last night with a guy or even a girl, as their nick didn’t indicate gender.

I had said that a Danish study had shown that there were links between coeliac disease and blood clots. I wrote about this study in A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots. Two of my on-line friends have since responded to that post with stories of coeliacs and blood-clots.

I got this reply from the person, I was chatting with.

There are some studies linking coeliac condition and the Factor V Leiden thrombophilia mutation. Several members of my family have (or had, since some have passed away) both conditions. I have the Factor V Leiden, as have both of my children. I do a lot of family history and have traced the Leiden mutation through triangulation of DNA matches and shared chromosome matches (via Family Tree DNA which goes into such detail) and I believe this is pointing to my Swedish ancestry.

I replied  and asked if the person had coeliac disease.

This was the reply.

I had some tests and a biopsy about 30 years ago to see if I had inherited the coeliac condition which had cut a swathe through my mother’s side of the family. It was negative, but I do suspect that I may have passed it on to my son. He’s not keen on getting tested although he did get a Leiden Factor V test and he is heterozygous for that. My mother, aunt, grandmother and cousins have coeliac and Leiden. Some have both and some have one or the other.

My mother was young enough to get proper advice, but my grandmother had a terrible time. She just literally faded away. Her treatment was eating raw liver and having injections of liver which left lumps under her skin. Awful.

I then looked up thrombophilia on Wikipedia. The picture of a red leg in the entry could have been of me, except that with me, It’s the other leg.

The NHS web site also gives useful information.

I need to see an expert urgently!

But at least, I’m already on the likely medication – Warfarin.

So it’s hopefully just a case of keep taking the tablets.

I must admit, I’m slightly annoyed with the medics. I have never been told, that there is a link between coeliac disease and blood clots, when evidence from the Danish peer-reviewed study and people I’ve met on-line clearly shows there is a link!

Given, all the arguments about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, more research needs to be done.

April 3, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment