Cuba’s Lung Cancer Vaccine Coming to Buffalo NY U.S.

Cuba’s Lung Cancer Vaccine

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) headed to Havana on a historic trade mission in April, he returned with the promise of an important commodity: a Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine.

The vaccine, called CimaVax, has been researched in Cuba for 25 years and became available for free to the Cuban public in 2011. The country’s Center for Molecular Immunology signed an agreement last month with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York to import CimaVax and begin clinical trials in the United States.

Coming To The Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY U.S.

“We’re still at the very early stages of assessing the promise of this vaccine, but the evidence so far from clinical trials in Cuba and Europe has been striking,” Dr. Kelvin Lee, Jacobs Family Chair in Immunology and co-leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Roswell Park, told The Huffington Post.

When President Obama loosened the United State’s 55-year long trade embargo against the island nation in December, he allowed for such joint research deals to be finalized. Similar programs might have been impossible just a few years ago.

Cuba has long been known for its high-quality cigars, and lung cancer is a major public health problem and the fourth-leading cause of death in the country. A 2007 study of patients with stages IIIB and IV lung cancer, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, confirmed the safety of the CimaVax and showed an increase in tumor-reducing antibody production in more than half of cases. It proved particularly effective for increased survival if the study participant was younger than 60.

So far, 5,000 patients worldwide have been treated with CimaVax, including 1,000 patients in Cuba. Lee said the latest Cuban study of 405 patients, which has not yet been published, confirms earlier findings about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. What’s more, the shot is cheap — it costs the Cuban government just $1, Wired reported. And studies have found there are no significant side effects.

“We think it may be an effective way to prevent cancer from developing or recurring, so that’s where a lot of our team’s excitement comes in,” Lee said. “There’s good reason to believe that this vaccine may be effective in both treating and preventing several types of cancer, including not only lung but breast, colorectal, head-and-neck, prostate and ovarian cancers, so the potential positive impact of this approach could be enormous.”

Preclinical investigations of CimaVax at Roswell Park and the unpublished findings of the 405-patient Cuban study are promising, according to Lee. CimaVax works by blocking a hormone that causes lung cancer tumors to grow, a method which has also been shown to be effective in treating colon cancer. That fuels researchers’ hope that the vaccine will be an effective treatment for other types of cancer as well.

Still, he acknowledged that the vaccine needs rigorous testing in each of these different disease areas to know whether or not the drug will work as well as the scientists at Roswell Park hope. To be clear, the CimaVax doesn’t cure cancer. It’s a therapeutic vaccine that works by targeting the tumor itself, specifically going after the proteins that allow a tumor to keep growing. (And as PBS points out, a person can’t just take a shot of CimaVax and continue to smoke without fear of lung cancer.)

“We hope to determine in the next few years whether giving CimaVax to patients who’ve had a lung cancer removed, or maybe even to people at high risk of developing lung or head-and-neck cancers because of a history of heavy smoking, may be beneficial and may spare those people from having a cancer diagnosis or recurrence,” Lee said.

The United States is currently at work developing two lung cancer vaccines of its own, GVAX and BLP 25, though neither has been studied for as long as CimaVax.

How does a tiny island nation with limited economic resources pioneer a powerhouse cancer vaccine? “They’ve had to do more with less,” Candace Johnson, CEO of Roswell Park, told Wired. “So they’ve had to be even more innovative with how they approach things. For over 40 years, they have had a preeminent immunology community.”

Despite decades of economic problems and the U.S. trade embargo, Cuba has been a model of public health. According the New York Times, life expectancy for Cubans is 79 years, on par with the United States, despite the fact that its economy per person is eight times smaller. While many drugs and even anesthesia have been hard to come by over the years, Cuba has one of the best doctor to patient ratios in the world. Moreover, the Cuban government’s investment in primary care for residents and preventative health measures like public education, housing and nutrition have paid huge dividends in the health of citizens, especially relative to similarly poor countries.

Looking forward, ongoing research collaborations between the two nations are almost certainly on the horizon as relations between Cuba and the U.S. continue to thaw. For now, Lee says the researchers at Roswell Park have their eyes trained on about 20 cancer treatment and prevention technologies in Cuba — including another lung cancer vaccine called racotumomab that the group hopes to study in clinical trials at Roswell.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said that the Center for Molecular Immunology signed a research agreement with Roswell Park Cancer Institute this week. The agreement was actually signed in April.


photo Source  Yamil LAGE YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images

You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine

You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine
Jo Marchant asks if we can harness the mind to reduce side-effects and slash drug costs.

9 February 2016
Marette Flies was 11 when her immune system turned against her. A cheerful student from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she had curly brown hair and a pale, moon-shaped face, and she loved playing trumpet in her high-school band. But in 1983, she was diagnosed with lupus, a condition in which the immune system destroys the body’s healthy tissues.

It ran rampant, attacking her body on multiple fronts. She was given steroids to suppress her immune system; the drugs made her face swell up, and her hair fell out onto her pillow and into her food. But despite the treatment her condition worsened over the next two years, with inflamed kidneys, seizures and high blood pressure. She suffered frequent headaches and her whole body was in pain. Read more

Hypnotherapy part of pain treatment

pain1 DEAR DOCTOR K: I am in near-constant pain because of arthritis. My doctor suggested that I try hypnotherapy. My first reaction was that it sounds like hokum, but now I’m wondering if it could help. What do you think?

DEAR READER: Hypnotherapy may in fact help with pain management. These days it is used to treat many mental and physical health problems. I spoke to my colleague Dr. Max Shapiro, a psychologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. He
explained that hypnotherapy is most effective in treating problems that require stronger control over the body’s responses. Pain is a good example; insomnia is another.

Hypnotherapy turns your attention inward. A hypnotherapist helps you enter a trancelike state. In that state, your attention is highly focused, so you’re more responsive to suggestions. With the guidance of a hypnotherapist, you can start to control or alter your thoughts, feelings and physical state. A hypnotic trance empowers you to activate neural circuits that are otherwise inactive. When activated, this circuitry can reduce pain, among other things.

Let’s consider insomnia. Hypnosis can be very effective in blocking out the distracting chatter that interferes with sleep. A hypnotherapist will first teach a patient how to go into a trance. Once in a trance, the patient will focus on his or her own past experience of falling asleep easily, effortlessly and comfortably. The patient will then be taught to practice going into a trance at bedtime and re-creating those feelings.

About half of people who use hypnotherapy for insomnia see improvement after a few sessions. Others require several more sessions. Only about one in 10 people won’t find it useful.

The success rate for hypnotherapy in treating pain is much more complicated. That may be because the source and nature of pain can vary so widely. Some people experience quick and long-lasting relief; others find it more challenging.

Hypnotherapy may be much more effective for some people than for others. In part, a successful outcome depends on how committed you are. In order for hypnotherapy to work, you will need to put the lessons learned at each session into practice at home. If you need an outside voice to help you focus inward, recordings may help to get you into a trance state.

Hypnotherapy is typically a complementary therapy. That means it should be part of a broader treatment plan that may include more traditional pain relief techniques and medications, if needed.

Like most doctors, I was skeptical that hypnosis really could work to help relieve suffering. It seemed like magic, and I don’t believe in magic. But now we know that the brain experiences symptoms — like pain — and that the brain has its own natural ways of relieving those symptoms. However, those “natural” ways often lie dormant and need to be activated. Hypnosis is a way of activating the brain’s ability to quiet bothersome symptoms.

A physician colleague of mine tried hypnosis after no traditional treatments were able to adequately relieve his pain. The treatment was so successful that he now uses hypnosis in his practice. There’s nothing like getting your own suffering relieved to make a believer out of you.


Hypnotherapy how I stopped smoking for good

After just one hypnotherapy session, Ramzi Abdulbaki’s life was transformed.

After almost three decades of smoking, the 51-year-old Canadian Lebanese decided enough was enough, and opted for hypnotherapy to help him quit.

He began smoking at the age of 25. On a normal day, he would go through a pack of cigarettes.

“If it was a stressful day, I could go through two packs a day. I’ve quit so many times but always came back.”

On his sister’s recommendation he tried hypnotherapy. “She said that it would help me quit smoking without the hassle.”

Mr Abdulbaki, like most was sceptical at first but the therapy was successful.

“It’s all common sense. She [the hypnotherapist] told me that if I wanted to live to see my grandchildren then I had to quit smoking. You know something is bad for you, but somehow when someone tells it to you in that way, it makes a difference.”

Mr Abdulbaki has not smoked a cigarette in three years ago since that hypnotherapy session.

“It changed my life. I’m now healthy. I lost 15 kilogrammes and went back to gym.”

While the hypnotherapy worked for him, in order for it to be a success he insists “it takes two to tango”.

“I wanted to change.”


The National

Hypnosis helped me drop fast food like a bad habit

loseweight-opt It all started one late-summer day in Michigan with an issue of Good Housekeeping. I was lounging in my parents’ kitchen flipping through the pages when I came across an interview with the actress Olivia Munn. Expecting nothing but skin care tips for a “girl next door” look, I was pleasantly surprised to find an article about her near-death experience in a plane crash as well as her struggles with OCD and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling condition associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder). In the interview, Munn mentioned seeing a hypnotist as part of her therapy for the disorders. As a bonus, he also hypnotized her to start working out.

“I’m not exaggerating: That was on a Friday, and by Monday I was working out every day at 6 a.m. If I missed a session, I’d double up and do it the next day. Now I feel so much stronger,” she told the magazine.

Having been successfully hypnotized once before on a cruise ship (I swear to you, it worked) and not exactly a consistent exerciser myself, I decided to make an appointment  to see if he could help. Shurr is a life coach, speaker, and consultant who has been practicing hypnosis for 27 years. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in psychology, Shurr has spent the past 21 years in the coaching business.

During our first session it became apparent that my problem getting to the gym wasn’t my biggest concern at all. I unloaded on Shurr about my personal life and my goals for the future as well as my tendency to self-sabotage when stressed. He asked for an example of the latter.

I listed a few, including one that seemed the most simple (relative to the others) to address: binge eating McDonald’s. In my early 20s I ate it regularly. It was cheap, and it was delicious to me at the time. As I got older and began taking my health more seriously, I quit. For years I had stayed clear of the fast food, but following a breakup, some financial stress, and feeling a bit down, I began eating it again for comfort. It reminded me of my childhood.

Sitting in a Lay-Z-Boy recliner, I listened as Shurr directed me through a series of mental and breathing exercises. Minutes later I was in a completely relaxed state, entranced by the sound of his voice. He told me to imagine my favorite meal from McDonald’s, putting each item piece by piece into a blender, then turning it on, then drinking it. I could feel the scowl on my face. Shurr then told me to think about the blob of blended food in my stomach, how it made me feel sluggish and tired. He told me that moving forward I would eat more things that made me feel the opposite, like fresh fruits and vegetables.

His words sounded good in theory, but I asked Shurr to explain how exactly this was going to work.

“There are two things at work,” he said. “One is your subconscious. Eating is an emotional thing, so this will tell your brain, ‘I don’t really want that.’ The second part is that once you get off unhealthy foods and go back to them, you realize they’re pretty gross. It’s like smokers who don’t notice the smell until they quit and then suddenly cigarettes smell really bad.”

It was months before I was tempted to try my favorite fast food again. Instead of feeling hungry when I passed billboards with giant french fries, I felt something that resembled running into an old friend that you fell out with years ago — a little sad at first but then confident in your decision and glad it’s in the past.

But then one day, while driving to Michigan for the holidays, I pulled into a drive-thru. I was pressed for time, I was stressed, I hadn’t been feeling well. Plus, I wanted to put the second part of Shurr’s theory to the test. He was right. The food was awful. It didn’t taste warm and salty and safe. It tasted cold and dry and soulless. I haven’t had it since.

I have, however, been back to Indy Hypnosis a few times. After our first session, Shurr sent me home armed with a book titled “Getting Out of Your Own Way,” an audiobook titled “The Cure for Self-Sabotage,” and a few “Aha” moments, as Oprah would call them. I read the book and listened to the CD in my car, despite feeling a little silly as I repeated mantras about my self-worth while driving on I-65. Later, in other sessions, we worked on tips and techniques to avoid other destructive behaviors. I always left feeling more at peace.

But what about working out? During a follow-up conversation Shurr explained to me that remapping our subconscious is all about starting new things, not just stopping bad habits.

“The goal isn’t to pull weeds; it’s to grow flowers,” he said. “We’re wired to gain pleasure and avoid pain. The only reason we procrastinate about exercise is because we associate pain to it, so you need to associate fitness with pleasure.”

I’m still trying to convince my subconscious mind that it loves exercise. Unlike Olivia Munn, one hypnosis session didn’t cause me to start working out every day. It did help me realize a new awareness about my mind, my body and the person I want to be — as silly as it may sound sometimes.


What Happens When You Are Hypnotized

There is a lot of myth and misunderstanding that surrounds the practice of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. From fear of mind control to becoming lost in a trance, and of course the classic trope of being made to “cluck like a chicken” in front of an entire audience, it’s hard to sort fact from fiction for those new to the world of hypnosis.

For an outsider, the world of hypnotism sounds kind of scary! So we’re going to break it down for you, and explain what really happens when you are hypnotized.

sleep-opt In reality, hypnosis refers to a trance-like state into which a person can enter. Hypnotherapy is a calming, soothing practice that can reap a multitude of benefits to those who practice.

Hypnosis heightens the senses and focus of the individual. Often times this helps the patient get in touch with their subconscious mind. This aids in many things, including dealing with major physical and psychological struggles.

Frequently hypnotherapy is used by patients to cope with anxiety, pain, or to better control bad habits and sleeping disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Usually the experience is guided by a trained hypnotherapist. The hypnotherapist will guide the subject into the trance and through the session using verbal cues, repetition, and mental imagery. It’s actually quite similar to meditation.

Then at the end of the session the patient is simply asked to awaken themselves from that state.

So here are a few common myths that are actually wrong, and instead what actually happens during hypnosis that prove it’s not so scary after all.

A person can be hypnotized against their will, or fall under “mind control” and do things they do not want to do.

According to the Hypnosis Help Center, this is simply not true. A person must be a willing participant in order to be hypnotized. Someone who has been hypnotized will not do something that they wouldn’t do while in a “waking state.”

So what happens during a hypnotism at a stage show, when a hypnotist make audience members do some really weird stuff?

While under hypnosis, a person may be more open to suggestion, but they always have control over their own behavior. A participant at a stage show may go along with “performance” commands—like clucking, or barking—but only if they are willing to do so.

Being hypnotized just means you fall asleep.

This is also not true, mostly. Entering into a state of hypnosis will make the subject more in touch with their subconscious. This heightens their senses. However someone who is already tired may fall asleep—like how someone might doze-off during meditation. At that point the person is no longer in hypnosis, simply a relaxed sleep.

You can get “stuck” in hypnosis.

Because you do not lose control of yourself when hypnotized, it is not possible to become stuck in a state of hypnosis.

By First to Know What Really Happens When You Are Hypnotized Revealed

MasterMind Advanced Hypnosis Buffalo NY

Traders are turning to a hypnotist

Traders are turning to a hypnotist to try to stay calm amid the market chaos.
More than ever, the markets have been like a roulette wheel this month. They have been swinging from deep losses to massive gains and back again, sometimes within hours.

The markets are led by greed and fear, but the traders who act on these emotions will get blown out by the market swings.



Some are turning to hypnotherapy to keep their decisions cold and rational, Aaron Surtees, a director at the London clinic CityHypnosis, told Business Insider UK.

Surtees has worked with employees at banks and hedge funds including Nomura, UBS, and Henderson Global Investors and said traders asked for the same thing in their treatments. Surtees said they want “to be like a robot: cold, clinical, highly efficient, high stamina, high concentration, relentless.”

It doesn’t take long either. Surtees said two to four 15-minute treatments should be enough to reprogram the subconscious and see gains. It’s not cheap, at £195 ($305) per quarter-hour session, but it has a market.

“It’s about taking away the reckless emotional trades and getting them to do what they want,” Surtees said. “Anger and frustration is quite a big one. Shoveling money in even though they know they should get it out and losing their head.”

He works with about a trader a day, though things haven’t reached the pick-up in business seen during the 2008 global financial crisis.

And for those who are worried that their newfound robotic behavior will spill over into their personal lives, Surtees said this was very unlikely.

“It’s like a performance, like an actor, so you’re in a different mindset the second you step onto the trading floor,” he said. “As long as they’ve got the desire for that change, then you can put all of that into the suggestions.”