Saturday, April 06, 2013

A Time to Heal
Scientists have identified a link between blocking the protein CD47 and the death of malignant tumors. Stanford University researchers have discovered that the high level of CD47 in cancerous cells tricks the immune system into not destroying the malignancy. The CD47 antibody is ready to move into clinical trials. After decades of scientific struggle, a cure for cancer may just be within reach.

Almost every American has been touched in some way by the ravages of cancer. In 2012 alone, new cases of cancer were diagnosed in over 1.6 million Americans and killed over half a million people. Cancer renders many of us physically disabled, compromises our quality of life, leaves family and friends bereft of a loved one. Cancer is indiscriminate; it hurts everyone.

How sad, some people have commented, for the many millions who have already died from cancer--including my husband, Pete. But I’m not big on that type of hand-wringing. I believe things happen in their appointed time, and any time is a good time to cure cancer. Like the smallpox or polio vaccines that now prevent once-fatal diseases, or even the ordinary flu shot, cures and medical solutions will always be too late for many multitudes of people. The CD47 antibody, if proven successful in human trials, will be the same.

We need to remember that we are mortal; no one gets out of life alive. Each of us must die of some physical cause. But if it soon may be true that fewer of us will suffer and die from the terrible disease of cancer, that's a blessing worth waiting for.