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How Australian Doctor Treated Own Brain Cancer With Personal Research Studies

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An Australian medical doctor, Professor Richard Scolyer, said he has remained brain cancer-free for a year after undergoing a world-first treatment based on his own research.

The 57-year-old used his own pioneering studies on melanoma to treat his incurable stage 4 glioblastoma following his diagnosis in June 2023.

Scolyer disclosed this on Monday, via his X page, with an update about the experimental treatment alongside two images from a recent MRI scan.

“I had brain #MRI scan last Thursday looking for recurrent #glioblastoma (&/or treatment complications). I found out yesterday that there is still no sign of recurrence. I couldn’t be happier!!!!!,” wrote Scolyer.

“Thank you to the fabulous team looking after me so well especially my wife Katie & wonderful family!” he added.

Scolyer’s diagnosis was revealed in June 2023 after he was taken ill while traveling for work in Poland. He then became the first brain cancer patient to undergo pre-surgery combination immunotherapy.

Speaking about the feat in an interview with BBC, Scolyer said, “To be honest, I was more nervous than I have been for any previous scan. I’m just thrilled and delighted… couldn’t be happier.”

Professor Scolyer is one of the country’s most respected medical minds, and was this year named Australian of the Year alongside his colleague and friend, Professor Georgina Long, in recognition of their life-changing work on melanoma.

As co-directors of the Melanoma Institute Australia, over the past decade the pair’s research on immunotherapy, which uses the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells, has dramatically improved outcomes for advanced melanoma patients globally.

He is also the first to be administered a vaccine personalised to his tumour’s characteristics, which boosts the cancer-detecting powers of the drugs.

After a tough couple of months of treatment at the start of the year – spent dealing with epileptic seizures, liver issues and pneumonia – Prof Scolyer said he is feeling healthier.

“I’m the best I have felt for yonks,” he said, adding that he’s back to exercising every day – which for him often means a casual 15km (9.3 mile) jog.

“It certainly doesn’t mean that my brain cancer is cured… but it’s just nice to know that it hasn’t come back yet, so I’ve still got some more time to enjoy my life with my wife Katie and my three wonderful kids.”

The results so far have generated huge excitement that the duo may be on the cusp of a discovery which could one day help the roughly 300,000 people diagnosed with brain cancer globally each year.

Prof Scolyer and Prof Long have previously said the odds of a cure are “minuscule”, but they hope the experimental treatment will prolong Prof Scolyer’s life and will soon translate into clinical trials for glioblastoma patients.

They currently have a scientific paper under review, which details results from the first weeks of Prof Scolyer’s treatment, but Prof Long stresses that they are still a long way off developing an approved and regulated course of treatment.

“We’ve generated a whole heap of data, to then make a foundation for that next step, so that we can help more people,” she said.

“We’re not there yet. What we have to really focus on is showing that this pre-surgery, combination immunotherapy type of approach works in a large number of people.”

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Over 2,000 people feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

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More than 2,000 people are feared buried in a Papua New Guinea landslide that destroyed a remote highland village, the government said yesterday , as it pleaded for international help in the rescue effort.

The once-bustling hillside community in Enga province was almost wiped out when a chunk of Mount Mungalo collapsed in the early hours of Friday morning, smothering scores of homes and the people sleeping inside them.

“The landslide buried more than 2,000 people alive and caused major destruction to buildings, food gardens and caused major impact on the economic lifeline of the country,” Papua New Guinea’s national disaster centre said in a letter to the United Nations obtained by AFP.

The main highway to the large Porgera gold mine was “completely blocked”, it told the UN resident coordinator’s office in the capital Port Moresby.

The landslip was continuing to “shift slowly, posing ongoing danger to both the rescue teams and survivors alike”, the disaster centre said.

The scale of the catastrophe required “immediate and collaborative actions from all players”, it added, including the army, and national and provincial responders.“The centre also called on the United Nations to inform Papua New Guinea’s development partners “and other international friends” of the crisis.“

 

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New York City Mayor announces rat summit to tackle rodent problem

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By Francesca Hangeior.

 

The United States’ New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, has disclosed that there will be an inaugural National Urban Rat Summit to combat the worsening rodent problems.

Adams in a statement said the summit will take place on September 18 and 19 to assemble the best individuals in rat business from Boston, New Orleans and Seattle.

While making the statement, the mayor said “I hate rats” and the “best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy.”

According to the mayor, the summit is meant to bring experts on rats — “from researchers at academic institutions to municipal pest control managers” — to share “best practices” and discuss “rodent mitigation, and advance the science of urban rat management”.

“New Yorkers may not know this about me, but I hate rats, and I’m confident most of our city’s residents do as well,” Adams said.

“With rat sightings down nearly 14% in our city’s Rat Mitigation Zones year over year, we continue to make progress, but we’re not stopping there. The best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy. That’s why we’re holding this inaugural summit.”

Speaking about the challenges of rats, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Sue Donoghue said that the city is “laser focused” on containing and mitigating rats.

“New York City is laser-focused on rat control and we’re grateful to Mayor Adams and Cornell University for spearheading this summit that will advance best practices and allow cities from across the nation to collaborate on ways to keep rats on the run,” Donoghue said.

Reports have emerged of the rising population of rats in NYC found on subway tunnels and burrows within empty lots and city parks, which has driven out a number of the residents to other neighbouring cities and states.

Last month, New York City health officials issued a warning about the increase in transmitted bacterial illness spread by rat urine after 24 cases were reported in 2023, the most for any year.

Six cases of leptospirosis connected to rat urine have been reported so far in New York City, according to city health officials.

Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, trouble breathing and, in extreme cases, death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The homeless population or people living in shelters or other facilities where large clusters of people live in tight corridors are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, which has symptoms that can be mistaken for other illnesses, the CDC said.

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HORRIBLE! Man Cuts Open 8-month Pregnant Wife’s Womb To Check Baby’s Gender, Bags Life Imprisonment

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A 46-year-old Indian was sentenced to life imprisonment after he used a sickle to cut open his 8-month pregnant wife’s stomach to check if she was going to give birth to a boy or a girl.

Panna Lal, a resident of Badaun’s Civil Lines in Uttar Pradesh, had attacked his wife, Anita Devi, in September 2020.

The couple were married for 25 years and had five daughters.

However, they used to fight regularly as Panna Lal wanted her to give birth to a boy.

Anita’s family knew about the couple’s dispute and tried to convince Panna Lal to stop fighting but he threatened to divorce Anita and marry another woman to father a son.

On the day of the incident, the couple fought over the gender of the unborn baby again.

Enraged, Panna Lal threatened to cut open Anita’s stomach to check if she was pregnant with a boy or a girl.

When Anita fought back, he threatened to kill her.

He attacked her with a sickle after which she tried to run away from him. He grabbed her and used the sickle to cut open her stomach.

Anita told the court that the cut was so deep that her intestines were left hanging from her stomach.

She ran out to the street and her brother, who worked at a nearby shop, heard her screams and came to rescue her. Seeing him, Panna Lal fled the scene.

Anita was rushed to the hospital. While she survived the attack, her baby, a boy, could not be saved.

The fast track court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Saurabh Saxena sentenced Panna Lai on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

In court, Panna Lal argued that Anita had inflicted the wounds on herself to file a false case against him as he was in a property dispute with her brothers.

Anita’s brother, Ravi Singh told Times of India that when his sister was pregnant for the sixth time, Panna wanted her to abort as he was convinced by a village priest that she was expecting another girl.

“But Anita was adamant on keeping the child. He’s often beat Anita but we never thought he would take such an extreme step. We are happy he got this punishment, Sadly, my sister is not yet able to live a normal life,” he said.

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