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

Guided Beam Treatment Is Extending Life For Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

The lives of patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer could be extended by years with a “game-changing” radiation treatment that uses MRI technology to accurately target tumours.

A study has found that MRI-guided radiotherapy almost doubles the median survival rate in cases of inoperable pancreatic cancer compared with conventional treatment that uses CT scans.

It looks like a case of the more accurately you target your weapon, the more effective it is.

A few years before she died of a much more serious but totally unrelated cancer, my wife suffered from breast cancer.

  • The cancer wasn’t massive and it had probably been caused by a severe bruise, where she had been struck by an exploding air-bag in a car accident.
  • She also had a top-class surgeon in Cambridge. Barristers always get the best, as local chambers always know those who are being sued for malpractice.
  • To make sure, the cancer didn’t return she had targeted radiotherapy in Harley Street daily for four or five weeks.
  • She even travelled up to London from Suffolk daily on the train, often fitting Court appearances around the appointments.
  • A few weeks before she died, she was checked for breast cancer and pronounced clear.

The treatment had worked and it convinced me of the value of targeted radiotherapy.

I must say, it increases my optimism, that pancreatic cancer might be one cancer, where we can at least prolong life in many cases.

My optimism about pancreatic cancer probably started , after the results of the research to which I added funding in a small way were published. I wrote about them in There’s More To Liverpool Than Football And The Beatles!.

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

Infection, Mortality And Severity Of Covid-19 In Coeliac Disease – Prof Jonas Ludvigsson

The title of this post is the same as that of this presentation on the Coeliac UK web site.

If you are coeliac and worried about catching the Covids, I suggest you watch the presentation.

The presentation is about eighteen minutes long and this is the last-but-one screen.

Coeliac Disease and Covid-19

  • No increased risk of death from Covid-19
  • No increased risk of ICU for Covid-19
  • No increased risk of any (!) Covid-19

THEN: Coeliac patients with Covid-19, have no increased risk of death compared to other patients with Covid-19.

Conclusion

The professor concludes it is good news and there is no need for coeliac patients to get the jab earlier than other people.

I would also like to add my fourpennyworth!

The professor was only analysing diagnosed coeliacs, who were probably on a long-term gluten-free diet.

My son was an undiagnosed coeliac, who lived the rock and roll lifestyle, generally living on ciggies, high-strength cannabis and Subways. His immune system, probably gave him all the protection of a plastic colander.

He died at just 37 from pancreatic cancer.

 

December 25, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life After Pancreatic Cancer

The London Marathon always throws up human stories.

This one from the Argus, which is entitled Youngest London Marathon Runner Raising Funds For Medics Who Saved Her Life, is one of the best I can remember.

These are the first two paragraphs.

The youngest runner in the London Marathon is undertaking the challenge to raise money for the medics who saved her life by carrying out surgery to remove a tumour from her gut the size of a large grapefruit.

Lucy Harvey, from Poole, Dorset, was admitted to Poole Hospital in January 2019 with appendicitis, but the pre-op scans identified a mass on her pancreas.

This story has really touched me.

  • My son died at 37 from pancreatic cancer.
  • His daughter, who is now eighteen, was born with a congenital hernia of the diaphragm and was saved by heroic surgery in the Royal London Hospital by Vanessa Wright.
  • I support pancreatic cancer research at Liverpool University, where I met my late wife in the 1960s.
  • I raised a little bit of money, for the pancreatic cancer study I talk about in There’s More To Liverpool Than Football And The Beatles!.

My granddaughter now lives a reasonably normal life!

October 3, 2021 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hydrogen And The Anglo-Australian Trade Deal

This article on the BBC is entitled UK And Australia In First Post-Brexit Trade Deal.

I can see one very profitable result of this trade deal.

The world has a large and growing need for green hydrogen produced by renewable energy.

Australia is embracing the hydrogen economy and I have posted about Australia hydrogen developments several times.

This post is entitled H2U Eyre Peninsula Gateway Hydrogen Project Begins Largest Green Ammonia Plant and it describes how Australia will convert renewable electricity into liquid green ammonia for export to Japan.

Australia has a lot of sun and can create a lot of green hydrogen and ammonia for South East Asia.

Electrolysers need to be used to convert solar and wind electricity into hydrogen, which would be exported in tankers either as liquid hydrogen or liquid ammonia.

The largest hydrogen electrolyser factory in the world, is owned by ITM Power and is located in Sheffield/Rotherham. It has a capacity to build 1 GW of electrolysers in a year.

Looking at the electrolyser market, I can see the company needing another similar-sized factory.

Australia’s Solar Power Potential

This section in the Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Australia is called Potential.

These are some points from the section.

  • Typically, in the winter months, a square metre of much of Australia receives 4 kWh of insolation per day.
  • Some areas in the North receive fifty percent more.
  • Australia has the potential to install 179 GW of solar power on roofs across the nation.

Australia used to curse the sun because of all the cancer it brought. Now it could make them the world’s hydrogen powerhouse!

At present ninety percent of Australia’s solar panels are made in China.

But that may not be for ever, if what I wrote in Solar To Hydrogen Efficiency Record Broken By Australian National University Researchers, turns out to lead to an alternative technology to create hydrogen.

An Anglo-Australian Hydrogen Alliance

What better possible place to build a second electrolyser factory is there, than in Australia?

  • The Australian economy can use a lot of hydrogen for transport.
  • Australia is embracing hydrogen technology.
  • Australia is well-placed to export electrolysers to their friends in South East Asia.
  • Australia has the sun to produce massive amounts of green hydrogen.

If the UK and Australia developed hydrogen together, it would be good for both countries.

  • Australia can develop massive levels of renewable electricity from solar.
  • The UK can develop massive levels of renewable electricity from wind and possibly other sources.
  • Both countries are researching the ways to create and use hydrogen.
  • Both countries could produce hydrogen for nearby economies needing large amounts of hydrogen.
  • Many UK and Australian companies operate in both countries.

But above all, we haven’t had a major fall-out with Australia since the Bodyline Tour in 1932-1933.

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fergus Walsh On The AstraZeneca Vaccine

I have just watching a ten-minute interview on BBC Breakfast with Fergus Walsh, who is the BBC’s Medical Editor.

If you are worried about Covid-19 vaccination and the AstraZeneca vaccine in particular, I suggest you find the interview on iPlayer. It took place at 0815.

He is undoubtedly well-connected to healthcare in the UK, as during the pandemic, he has had deep-access to doctors, researchers and patients, so anything he says, should surely be taken seriously.

Clots Caused By The AstraZeneca Vaccine

On this he said, it was at the same rate as the Pfizer vaccine. Now there’s a thing!

The rate of those, who broke their ankle after being vaccinated is also probably the same for both vaccines.

Fergus Has Had The AstraZeneca Vaccine

This happened on Sunday.

His endorsement of the vaccine, is probably as well-reasoned as anyone.

Conclusion

Why are politicians and others rubbishing the AstraZeneca vaccine, when respected agencies say there is no problem?

Is it just jealousy?

Given the success of the vaccine with AstraZeneca, I doubt Oxford will be looking for another partner.

March 16, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Oxford Vaccine Team Use Same Tech To Revolutionise Cancer Treatment

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

I’m no medic, but I know enough about cancer, vaccines and the human immune system, to know that the team that developed the Oxford vaccine, could be on to something here. Especially, as they have got backing from Google’s venture capital arm.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | Finance, Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Inner Eye AI Identifies Tumours To Speed Up Treatment Of Cancer

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A hospital in Cambridge is the first to use artificial intelligence technology developed by Microsoft to treat cancer patients faster, helping to cut the treatment backlog and save lives.

There is only one NHS hospital in Cambridge and that is Addenbrooke’s, who probably saved my life, by diagnosing me as coeliac in 1997.

This paragraph explains the development of the software and how it will be deployed across the NHS.

Inner Eye is the result of an eight-year project with Microsoft and Addenbrooke’s and is being introduced in other NHS trusts. It is easy to access and free to use. When the AI tool is in place, hospitals will be able to use their own data to improve accuracy.

This paragraph sums up the usefulness of the system.

Pat Price, a professor at Imperial College London and chairwoman of Action Radiotherapy, a charity, said: “This is just one brilliant example of the quiet but amazing technological revolution that has unfolded in radiotherapy in recent years and could dramatically improve cancer survival rates.”

It really is amazing how since my wife died of a squamous cell carcinoma of the heart, treatment of cancer has improved.

I can envisage a time, when a rare cancer like that, which killed her in three months, will be survivable!

January 11, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Care Homes In England Had Greatest Increase In Excess Deaths At Height Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the University of Stirling web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Care homes in England experienced the highest increase in excess deaths at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to those in the rest of the UK, according to new research.

The actual figures are as follows.

  • England – 79 %
  • Northern Ireland – 46 %
  • Scotland – 62 %
  • Wales – 66 %

So why are the three Celtic nations, doing better than England?

In A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19, I said this.

How many undiagnosed coeliacs are there in those over seventy, who because they are coeliacs, have a compromised immune system?

I would be undiagnosed but for that elderly locum!

How many other coeliacs are there in the UK population?

    • Age UK has a figure of twelve million who are over 65 in the UK.
    • If 1-in-100, as stated by Coeliac UK, in the UK are coeliac, that is 120,000 undiagnosed coeliacs over 65.

Will these 120,000 people have a compromised immune system, that makes them  more susceptible to Covid-19?

It has been said, that a good immune system helps you fight Covid-19!

If those 120,000 elderly undiagnosed coeliacs have a compromised immune system, how many are in poor health with cancer, arthritis and general poor health and have decided that a care home is best.

Coeliac Disease And The Celts

The Irish have a history of coeliac disease, which I have heard suggested goes back to the potato famine.

Certainly, the whole island of Ireland is a coeliac friendly place compared to some parts of England. Although, Liverpool with its strong Irish heritage is an exception.

Conclusion

I do wonder, if understanding of coeliac disease in the three Celtic nations is better than it is in England and a higher proportion of elderly coeliacs have been diagnosed.

Any younger coeliac born after about 1980, has probably been picked up, for the simple reason, that most GPs these days take regular blood tests and do seem to be more knowledgeable about the disease than GPs were before about 1980.

According to my GP, to test a child, is normally just a simple blood test and an analysis at a lab. Only a few cases, will need an endoscopy.

So do we have this population of undiagnosed coeliacs with compromised immune systems in English care homes?

Perhaps, everybody in a care home, should be tested for coeliac disease?

If nothing else, it may save money on cancer care, as diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet are 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer.

 

August 30, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pancreatic Cancer Deaths Around The World

This data is from a web site called World Life Expectancy.

My son died at just 37 and if I can save one person’s family, from the same anguish, that I have suffered, it would have been worth it.

The data is World Health Organisation data from 2018, and the figures shown are as follows.

  1. Age adjusted death rate per 100,000 of the population
  2. World ranking
  3. Rating in the country of pancreatic cancer amongst all deaths.

The country name links to the data.

These are a few of my thoughts.

The Top Ten Countries

These are the top ten countries.

  1. Hungary
  2. Uruguay
  3. Armemia
  4. Malta
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Estonia
  7. Iceland
  8. Israel
  9. Slovakia
  10. Austria

The full list is on the World Life Expectancy web site.

From the top ten, it looks to me, that pancreatic cancer seems to be common in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I also think there could be a Jewish connection.

In the history of Jews in the Austro-Hungarian Empire on Wikipedia, this is an extract, that talks about Jews around 1900.

In that period, the majority of Jews in Austria-Hungary lived in small towns (shtetls) in Galicia and rural areas in Hungary and Bohemia; however, they had large communities and even local majorities in the downtown districts of Vienna, Budapest and Prague. Of the pre-World War I military forces of the major European powers, the Austro-Hungarian army was almost alone in its regular promotion of Jews to positions of command. While the Jewish population of the lands of the Dual Monarchy was about five percent, Jews made up nearly eighteen percent of the reserve officer corps. Thanks to the modernity of the constitution and to the benevolence of emperor Franz Joseph, the Austrian Jews came to regard the era of Austria-Hungary as a golden era of their history.

That doesn’t sound like they were suffering large amounts of anti-semitism, as they had for a long time in the Baltic States and East Prussia, where my ancestor emigrated to England around 1800.

I need some help here from a Jewish historian.

But the statistics and geography  are indicating to me, that Jews from the Austro-Hungarian Empire could have chosen to emigate through the Balkans to Palestine, when they saw the way the tide was turning after World War One.

I know a bit about life in Palestine in the 1930s, because at one period of my life, my next-door neighbour was a retired British Officer, who was stationed in the country. He was actually in the King David Hotel, when it was blown up. Charles is long-dead now, but I wished I’d recorded his memories, as in today’s Middle East climate, they would be an unusual insight.

But why Iceland, Malta and Uruguay?

Ireland And The United Kingdom

As could be expected, Ireland and the United Kingdom are fairly close together in the table; at 40 and 44 respectively.

  • Just men and the positions are 49 and 51.
  • Just women and it’s 37 and 42.

In the tables, Canada and Australia are just below the United Kingdom, with New Zealand a few places further down.

Cambodia, Laos And Vietnam

To a coeliac like me, Cambodia is interesting, as they are reckoned to have the most gluten-free cuisine in the world.

But these three countries, are all in the bottom third of the table, along with some other major countries, whose food has a lot of rice; Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand.

I know gluten affects my health, but if your diet contains little gluten, does that lower, your chance of getting pancreatic cancer?

 

 

 

 

 

August 18, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment