Health

"How our bodies coddle cancer"

One more reason why cancer is such an evil bastard.

The blood vessels that deliver food and oxygen — and chemotherapy drugs — to a tumor tend to be highly abnormal. Instead of the usual large, straight, simply branched vessels, the ones in and around a tumor are often unevenly distributed, misshapen and tangled. As a result, some parts of the tumor end up far from any blood vessels and thus have little exposure to chemo. Those same regions become starved of oxygen, and this hypoxia suppresses the immune system and also acts as a signal for the tumor cells to metastasize, or disperse to new sites.


"The Promise and the Price of Cellular Therapies"

They can bring back people from death's door now. Just do more, and faster. We want more of this:

The facility may as well have been a small monument to Emily. Photographs of her plastered the walls: Emily at eight, in pigtails; Emily at nine, with a missing front tooth, smiling next to President Obama; Emily at ten, holding a plaque. At a certain point during the tour, I watched Emily look out the window to the hospital across the street. She could almost see into the corner picu room, where she had been confined for nearly a month. The rain came down in sheets. . . .

“Do you remember coming into the hospital?” I asked.

“No,” she said, looking out into the rain. “I only remember leaving.”