Tag Archives: Medicine

Galectin Therapeutics: When Good News Needs to Be TrumpetedGalectin Therapeutics: When Good News Needs to Be Trumpeted

Seldom do I venture outside the subject matter of constitutionalism, ideology and/or politics, but when I do it is either something personal, remarkable or both. The unique and innovative research and development taking place at Galectin Therapeutics™ is just such a subject. Should the scientists of this corporation succeed in bringing their product to market, the lives of millions of people in the United States – and potentially tens, if not hundreds of millions of people around the world – could be saved.

This issue is important to me because I have a personal experience with the evils of cancer and the fibrotic diseases. In 2000, my best friend from high school (a brother from the moment we met until the day he died) was taken from me, from his family, by the ravages of these diseases. He was diagnosed and taken in less than 30 days. The emotional toll on all his survivors was all encompassing and intense. It is with this personal understanding of the issue that the discovery of what Galectin Therapeutics is doing captivated my attention.

What would you say if I told you that a company – a gifted group of scientists – has developed a therapy that will save the lives of well over 15 million Americans suffering from diseases that currently have no cure, and that today can’t be detected until it is too late?

What would you say if I told you that the Food & Drug Administration is so impressed with the data surrounding this new drug therapy that they have awarded “Fast Track” status to this drug, and that, according to Morgan Brennan of CNBC Business News, there has never – never – been a Fast Tracked drug that has failed to come to market?

And what would you say if I told you that not only will this drug be extremely affordable when it comes to market, but that you – you – could be a part of this history-making endeavor?

Well, it is all true…and none-to-soon for the many people who suffer from fibrosis of the liver, kidneys and lungs, and some forms of cancer, thanks to groundbreaking work being done by the scientists at Galectin Therapeutics.

The researchers and scientists associated with Galectin Therapeutics, led by Dr. Peter G. Traber, MD – president emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine and former senior vice president of clinical development & medical affairs and chief medical officer of GlaxoSmithKline – are bringing hope to millions of people in the United States who suffer from both fibrosis (kidney, liver and lung) and cancer. Their research into galectin proteins, which have been proven to play a pivotal role in the genesis of many diseases, including fibrotic disease and cancer, is unprecedented. In fact, the Food & Drug Administration has awarded Fast Tracked status to the development of their project – a class of galectin inhibiting carbohydrate polymers. These unique and revolutionary compounds bind to galectin proteins and disrupt their function, which has a beneficial effect on these diseases.

Fibrosis, by definition, is the development of ever-growing fibrous connective tissue in an organ when exposed to a chronic disease, such as kidney, liver or lung fibrosis. The longer the disease affects the organ, the more fibrous tissue is deposited and this, ultimately, results in the complete failure of the organ. Drug candidates exposed to Galectin Therapeuticstherapies have shown them to be incredibly effective, providing a promising and exciting new approach for the treatment of these fibrotic diseases; hope where once there was none…none.

Additionally, Shirley Wang, of the Wall Street Journal, reports:

“Some 1 in 10 children in the US, or more than 7 million, are thought to have the disease, according to recent studies.

“The condition, in which the normally rust-colored organ becomes bloated and discolored by yellowish fat cells, has become so common in non-drinkers that it has been dubbed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease…

“The condition’s rise is tied to the obesity epidemic – about 40% of obese children have it – but isn’t caused solely by being overweight. The disease appears to be growing among normal-weight children too, experts say. And even though obesity rates are starting to level off, the prevalence of fatty liver disease continues to rise…”

In a nutshell, what Dr. Traber and his colleagues at Galectin Therapeutics have done is groundbreaking if for only this specific reason. Currently, there are no approved medical treatments available for the millions of patients in the United States who have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with advanced fibrosis, or liver fibrosis – today commonly known as “fatty liver disease.” The only alternative to an eventual death for anyone afflicted by these diseases – including the millions of children affected – is organ transplantation. The same is true for kidney and lung fibrosis. With the availability of healthy organ tissue at a premium, many more afflicted with these diseases perish than survive. This is why the work being done by Dr. Traber and his team is so incredibly important to the management of these diseases; diseases that will strike hundreds of millions of people around the world in our lifetime.

Further, the Galectin Therapeutics team is making similar inroads into the treatment of cancer.

Based on studies in non-human models, Galectin Therapeutics is exploring how its galectin inhibitors perform in combination immunotherapy clinical trials, focusing on the treatment, initially, of advanced melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there were over 68,000 new diagnoses and 8,100 deaths from melanoma in the United States in 2011. Metastatic melanoma has a poor prognosis with less than 5% of patients surviving five years from the point when the cancer has affected a person’s organs. Galectin Therapeutics galectin inhibitors represent and remarkable breakthrough for people suffering from this killer disease.

One of the most important moments for the scientists at Galectin Therapeutics – and for the millions who suffer from fibrotic diseases – came when the FDA approved the drug for “fast track” status. Fast Track status is defined by the FDA as:

“…a process designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need… An unmet medical need is a condition whose treatment or diagnosis is not addressed adequately by available therapy.”

By awarding Galectin Therapeutics therapies Fast Track status the FDA recognizes – and admirably so – that this new therapy is the best hope for millions of people afflicted with fibrotic diseases. And for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from fibrotic diseases, and for their families and loved ones, the therapies being developed by the scientists at Galectin Therapeutics can only be seen as their only hope.

Find out more about the incredible work being done by Galectin Therapeutics by visiting their website at: www.GalectinTherapeutics.com.

Coming Soon to a Doctor’s Office Near You – The Global Warming Debate

When Chad Kent, the resident Constitutionalist here, came to me about a story on Global Warming folks weaseling their way into the field of medicine, I was moderately intrigued. He told me about a paper that had been published by American Family Physician, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, that was giving physicians suggestions on how to reduce the effects of Global Warming by encouraging their patients to live healthier. Now, leftists playing politics with health care with Obamacare is one thing, but starting to lobby doctors with their environmental agenda directly is something else entirely.
Physician
While I managed to end up with full-text of this article, only the abstract of “Global Warming – Benefits for Patients and the Planet” is available publicly. The author of this paper, Cindy L. Parker, MD, is a member of the faculty at Johns Hopkins University. In short, her thesis is that since it’s a foregone conclusion that human beings are to blame for Global Warming (she regularly substitutes this term for the “less pejorative” Climate Change), it makes sense for physicians to encourage their patients to eat less red meat and use bicycles or other human-powered means of transportation more often. This would theoretically make an appreciable change in the amount of carbon emissions, and thus help to slow the damage we are doing to the environment.

As relative proof for her contention on alternative forms of transportation, Parker cites data that shows there had been a noticeable decline in ozone concentration in Atlanta, GA during the 1996 Olympic games, and in Beijing, China, during the Olympics in 2008. The Olympic Committee restricts the use of motor vehicles for the duration of the games, so there was less car exhaust in those areas at those times. As for the dietary changes, there is a more convoluted equation that includes the amount of oil-based products used in agriculture, and the negative effects they have on the environment.

Now, it is difficult to argue against the idea that eating less red meat and being more active are intelligent choices for health-conscious Americans. However, taking the additional step of suggesting to doctors that encouraging these behaviors may have the additional side-effect of combating Global Warming is troublesome at best. Readers of AFP Journal did reply to this article, and pointed out some perceived flaws in the theory, primarily on the science Parker chose to back her thesis. One part of the editorial response to the readers’ feedback is rather telling.

3. Scientific process: When Dr. Parker first proposed this article, we challenged the author to justify how this information could be of use to the office-based physician, in terms of improving practice and patient outcomes. The author replied with a detailed explanation about how physicians can counsel their patients in ways that would help their health, as well as be good for the environment – a double benefit. These included eating less red meat and using bicycles for exercise and transportation. Although we were aware that the issue of global warming is controversial, we did not think that these particular recommendations, which are consistent with current national guidelines on healthy diet and physical activity, would be considered controversial.

As is standard for every clinical review article, the manuscript was independently assessed by two medical editors and three external reviewers. The reviews were supportive of the article’s basic concept, and provided helpful recommendations to strengthen and increase its relevance to the practicing family physician.

To provide additional perspective on this topic, we solicited an accompanying editorial. It described the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, and also said: “the American Medical Association (AMA), in concert with the American Nurses Association and the American Public Health Association, has strongly supported educating health professionals about the impacts of climate change. The AMA is a major participant in the Climate and Health Literacy Consortium, which has developed free standard PowerPoint presentations for hospital administrators and clinical staff.”

Finally, Dr. Parker is codirector of the Program on Global Sustainability and Health and director of the Global Environmental Change and Sustainability major and minor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is an expert in the field. We mention this to indicate that this article was not published without due deliberation and discourse.

In writing, and life, context is everything. Parker is a researcher with an agenda, and a rather severe bias. Her entire career is based on proving links between the environment and people’s health. This article is just a small part of her work. Before trying to tell our doctors to encourage us to live healthier to save the planet, she wrote a book telling us directly. And it’s not hard to figure out why she might target the petroleum industry in particular, albeit indirectly, through the agriculture industry. Parker is also a proponent of the Peak Oil theory – that we are approaching a point of critical mass where petroleum use versus supply is concerned. Due to being over-reliant on oil, society will reach a point where shortages in that resource will start a domino effect, particularly in agriculture, that will lead to famines and radical inflation. But, that is yet another short-sighted theory from the world of environmentalists, primarily because it gives little or no consideration to one thing that the petroleum industry takes into account when making projections about the worldwide oil supply. It does not take into account the fact that industry in general is continually searching for and implementing technologies that increase fuel efficiency. The irony of this shouldn’t be lost on most conservatives, since a great deal of that research was essentially forced on the automobile industry in particular by the environmentalists themselves, in the form of governmental regulations.

So what do we take away from all of this, as conservatives? This should be considered a warning shot. While it’s unlikely that Parker’s research and writings will manage to make many waves with anyone that doesn’t already agree with her anyway, it would be foolish to not consider this a harbinger of things to come. Combine this with the current advertising campaigns featuring children with breathing problems promoting EPA initiatives on the Hill, and it is obvious that environmentalists are moving closer to the reality of the situation. No matter how much they want to say that they want to save the planet, that simply isn’t the case. We can’t save something that doesn’t need saving. The planet will still be here long after we’re gone, unless we disappear because the planet itself is destroyed in some cosmic event.

What environmentalists really are trying to save is our ability to live comfortably on this planet. Whether or not Global Warming is actually occurring, and whether or not it is being caused by our current use of fossil fuels are matters for scientists interested in dealing with pure theory. Their findings are irrelevant, because we do not have the means at our disposal to make radical changes anyway. Green technology research has not reached the point where it can give us viable replacements for our current fuel needs. The best that we can do until viable replacements become mass-marketable is to continue focusing on increasing fuel efficiency, and decreasing carbon emissions through improved filtration technology. Cars built today do not cause anywhere near the amount of pollution as those built in the 1970’s and earlier. Arguably, the only thing standing in the way of scientists focusing on applying the technology that accomplished that in the automobile industry to other high-carbon emission industries is the fascination with finding the next best fuel.

So, if your doctor starts trying to sell you on the idea of eating less red meat, and riding bicycles to work as your own little way to save the planet, please do set that physician straight. If you choose to do it, make sure the doctor knows it’s because you want to improve your own health, and that’s all. Sorry, but no one is going to save the world by choosing salad over steak, or pedaling over driving.

Politics Made Simple: Let Liberals Pay for All Abortion Pills

During the debate about Barack Obama’s recent big government attempts to mandate that religious organizations pay for free contraceptive and after-the-fact abortion pills, there has been very little discussion of the fact that these abortion pills are seen by many Americans as a way to commit legal murder by killing a developing fetus while it is still in the womb. Also of note is that when people do a browser search for “abortion pill” Planned Parenthood  is the very first “recommended by google” site to come up. No health professionals, no doctor’s groups, and no scientific studies are even in the top 10 search results for abortion pills. That is blatant internet media manipulation designed to nudge people’s perceptions of what is right or wrong in America today, and I for one find it a disgusting disservice to all Americans, especially young women thinking about having an abortion.

Here are a few of the young mind-maniputaling tidbits being spread nationwide by Planned Parenthood, many times by using your tax dollars: ( emphasis added at times)

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is a medicine that ends an early pregnancy. In general, it can be used up to 63 days — 9 weeks — after the first day of a woman’s last period. Women who need an abortion and are more than 9 weeks pregnant can have an in-clinic abortion.

The name for “the abortion pill” is mifepristone. It was called RU-486 when it was being developed.

That Planned Parenthood definition of the abortion pill is the equivalent of saying that rat poison is a medicine to treat rats. It is that simple.

What happens during a “Medication” abortion?

It’s common for women to be nervous about having a medication abortion — or any other medical procedure. But many of us feel better if we know what to expect.

What they fail to tell young women are the lifelong feelings of  guilt and shame many women suffer with for the rest of their lives, all because the “experts” at Planned Parenthood steadfastly and irresponsibly refuse to tell this side of the story.

Under Step 3, the follow-up visit after taking the abortion pill:

You will need to follow up within two weeks. Follow-up is important to make sure your abortion is complete and that you are well. You will need an ultrasound or blood test.

In the unlikely event that you are still pregnant, your health care provider will discuss your options with you. It’s likely you will need to have an aspiration abortion if the medication abortion did not end the pregnancy.

So just what is the innocent-sounding aspiration abortion?  According to Web MD  it is also known more fittingly as a suction abortion or a vacuum abortion. The manual vacuum abortion is when they use a syringe to suck the fetus tissue out, while the machine vacuum method uses a machine which involves the use of a hollow tube (cannula) that is attached by tubing to a bottle and a pump, which provides a gentle vacuum. The cannula is passed into the uterus, the pump is turned on, and the tissue is gently removed from the uterus. Note that nowhere in the Web MD description of these types of abortions is the word “aspiration” as Planned Parenthood refers to it.

Planned Parenthood also tries to imply that they do not receive any tax dollars to promote their main agenda: abortion-promotion.  That is a blatant lie, as can be seen in the article titled, Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report: Got $487.4 million in Tax Money, Did 329,445 Abortions.

The Liberal-in-Chief, Barack Obama wants all Americans to pick up the tab for the sectors of American society’s irresponsibility and pay for abortion pills, against the main beliefs of a large sector of American society who view abortion as murder and a disservice to young, naive, pregnant women. So here is a suggestion: Since Liberal nanny-state worshipers want young women across America to have the abortion pills, let them pay for it. Take the millions of tax dollars being used to finance Planned Parenthood’s abortion-selling agenda away from them, and let the Liberal elitists in the media and elected public office donate their own cash for these abortion pills. We could even give proper credit to one of the main promoters of tax dollars being used for abortions in America today, Senator Barbara Boxer. We could name the new Liberal abortion-donation fund, the Barbara Boxer Buys Abortion Pills for Everyone, fund. Giving true credit where credit is due and all that.

Again, If it is such a great and noble cause, put your money where your Liberal rhetoric is and pony up a few million.  The fact is these Liberals are full of dishonest hot air when it comes to actually “helping people” with their own money. They only want to help people with other people’s hard-earned dollars, including the taxpayers purse, as proven by the above expose’ on just how many tax dollars went to Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills. The minute any elected official starts talking about de-funding the Liberal abortion mills of Planned Parenthood, Liberal mouthpieces like Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer start screaming about women’s rights to proper health-care and “medicine.” More rat poison anyone?

Meet the Intellect in Charge of America’s Healthcare

       I really wasn’t in much of a mood to write today, but Obamacare Chief Katherine Sebelius cried out to me for another 15 minutes of fame, so here we are. Once again an incident showing how incompetent and ridiculous certain Obama appointees can be is being downplayed by the MSM.  When they did show the following video it wasn’t shown in full context, but thanks to the internet and social media nothing slips by the people today. Here is the whole video  from Eyeblast.tv:  http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?v=hdqGnznzqG   Unbelievable!  Here is the text of why Obamacare is Constitutional, right from Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius:

Sebelius: “Well, I think that the…I…let me begin by saying I’m not a lawyer. And I’m leaving those arguments to our legal team from the department of justice. But I think there are certainly lots of talented Constitutional lawyers who feel that the Commerce Clause very much is broad enough to cover the interstate commerce of healthcare and that we have a unique product because people access services of healthcare whether or not they have insurance. What they’re choosing not to do is actually pay for those services. So it isn’t like if I don’t have a 27-inch TV for the Super Bowl I can’t demand that they have the Super Bowl that somebody deliver that TV because I have a right to it. On the other hand, if I don’t have insurance and I come to the door of an emergency room I get treated and get cared for and somebody else picks up that tab. And I think it’s that framework for a layperson that the two judges who have ruled who find that this law is constitutional found to be well within scope of the commerce clause.” (emphasis mine)

     What I also find amazing here, is that Mr. Obama has appointed someone who isn’t a faux lawyer, as Sebelius deemed important enough to lead off with in her statement, while trying to sell Americans the Obamacare Socialized medicine once again. Call me dense, but I still can’t bring myself to equate the government takeover of 1/6th of the US economy to buying a TV,  let alone it’s Constitutionality.

        Here is another tidbit about about this genius that is now in charge of American healthcare: She was once the Governor of Kansas for 6 years. So much for informed voters once again.  Her father, John J. Gilligan also made his living in politics as the Governor of Ohio. Ms. Sebelius served 8 years in the Kansas leglislature and another 8 years as the Kansas Insurance Commissioner. With a degree in “Public Administration,” Ms. Sebelius somehow wound up serving as The Executive Director and Chief Lobbyist for The Kansas Trial lawyers Association. Once again an Obama appointee is another fluffy lobbyist at her roots. Every cent this career politician has made has come from the U S taxpayer one way or the other. Today she is also effectively in charge of  America’s Socialized Medicine being sold as Healthcare Reform, which is 1/6th of the entire U S economy. Take another look at the above transcript of this genius explaining to us why Obamacare is Constitutional today. That statement completely sums up Obamacare perfectly. They have no clue what they have done here, nor do they care about the disastrous effects their vaunted Socialized medicine will have on the best healthcare system in the world.