Friday Frontline: Cancer Updates, Research and Education on September 27, 2019


From a freezer failure that lost the stem cells of some patients with cancer to a documentary about one of the pioneers of immunotherapy, here’s what is making headlines in the cancer space this week.

Nearly 60 patients, including some being treated for cancer, have lost their stored blood stem cells because of a freezer malfunction.

The freezer’s temperature sensors failed, and the safeguards put in place were insufficient, according to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The hospital apologized and sent letters to the families affected, as well as set up a phone line for people to call with questions.

“We apologize for any distress or confusion that this has caused our patients and their families,” the hospital said in a statement. No child’s health is in jeopardy due to this incident, they added.

A documentary about immunotherapy pioneer Dr. Jim Allison premieres in certain theaters today. Jim Allison: Breakthrough will debut in New York and Los Angeles before expanding to other theaters across the country.

It tells the story of Allison’s discovery on how the immune system can fight cancer. Allison is best known for his work in T-cell response mechanisms and his discovery that blocking the signaling of the immune checkpoint protein CTLA-4 improved responses. His research led to the development of Yervoy (ipilimumab), the first immune checkpoint inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011.

Last year, Allison won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine alongside Dr. Tasuku Honjo.

The first-ever ZERO Cancer Day took place Tuesday to honor the prostate cancer community. ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer, a nonprofit organization, was behind the event.

It took place on its various social media channels to recognize the passion of prostate cancer survivors, patients and their families.

ZERO Cancer Day was inspired by the urgency and necessity of ending prostate cancer, according to a press release. More about the one-day event can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

A 6-year-old cancer survivor learns dreams can come true. Linden Bradley got to open the gates to Disneyland thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation who provided the family with a weeklong trip.

He was also surprised with becoming the honorary mayor of the Haunted Mansion. Bradley received a stage 4 Burkitt lymphoma diagnosis in March but after four rounds of inpatient chemotherapy he was released in June. Bradley is now cancer-free.

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