Archive for March, 2010


The latest ruling, delivered on 29 March, is the result of a lawsuit brought in May 2009 against Myriad Genetics, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the University of Utah Research Foundation, which hold the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Mutations on BRCA1 and BRCA2 are responsible for most hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. A woman who tests positive on Myriad’s BRCA test has on average an 82% risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime and a 44% risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to the company.

The patents, which Myriad has actively enforced, grant the company the exclusive right to perform diagnostic tests on the two genes. The company charges over $3,000 for its BRACAnalysis test. In 2009, Myriad’s revenues from molecular diagnostics grew by 47% to $326.5 million. BRACAnalysis accounts for the lion’s share of those revenues.

The plaintiffs in the case included individual physicians and patients as well as the Association for Molecular Pathology and the American College of Medical Genetics; they were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York–based Public Patent Foundation. The American Society of Human Genetics and the American Medical Association also filed briefs in support of the plaintiffs’ challenge to the patents.

The plaintiffs called the patents illegal on the basis that they restrict both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care and that patents on human genes violate patent law because genes are “products of nature”.

Complete article http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100330/full/news.2010.160.html

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I found more sketches and notes I made just before, during and after I had radiation treatment and have posted them in the section The Parts I Left Out.

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Living Beyond Breast Cancer has a new topic on their blog called “fear of recurrence.” The first post in the series is called “An Appointment to Worry.”

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When I was packing to go to Arizona, I had to stop going up and down the stairs for the suitcases and clothes because I got out of breath and had to use my inhaler and rest. The doctor recommended prednisone but I told him I thought if I could get out of the area, my allergies would clear up. 

As soon as I was in Arizona, I started walking, but got out of breath each time for the first week. I gradually was able to walk farther and three weeks later I was taking a long walk each day without using the inhaler.

Back home after a month at that lower altitude and warmer temperatures (and different allergens) I’m still using the inhaler only a couple of times a week, which is what my oncologist was wanting.  Because the Mayo’s report said that breast cancer survivors with asthma have a two-fold risk of metastasis to the lungs, I need to make controlling the asthma a priority. 

I don’t know if that will mean I move around more often, or if I go south for the winter, or if I will have to move there.  So far, so good.

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