Monday, August 25, 2008


1. NYT on Choosing Chemo
Jane Brody highlights how tough it is to make decisions about a chemotherapy plan in the New York Times. The article makes reference to the JAMA article about chemotherapy at the end of life we had blogged about in June. (HT: Hospice & Caregiving Blog from HFA)

2. Best Blog Post Title of the Year Nominee

Methadone for cancer (no) and cancer pain (yes)

An anonymous pharmacologist who blogs for ScienceBlogs reviews a report that methadone may actually kill leukemia cells by inducing apoptosis. He does bring up an intriguing point that cancer cells may actually have opioid receptors, which in my opinion could lead to new theories about cancer pain and possibly even treatment of cancer in general. Another report says that it took 30micromols of methadone per liter to kill the leukemia cells which would be toxic to humans. I have no clue what the equivalent oral dosage would be to get to 30micromols per liter. Any pharmacists in the house willing to help us out on that one?

3. Board Games and Palliative Care?
I like board games and so I visit occasionally. (Yes that is the actual name of the site. As I have mentioned before, it is interesting how you find parallels to your work everywhere. A board gamer named Swashbucklin' Josh wrote a poem about his battle with Crohn's disease and how it stole his hope. Here is a small excerpt from the prose about his dialogue with his disease that could be any chronic and possibly fatal disease:
I said, "You must never come back."
He said, "I have left my mark upon you. I will return some day to claim what is mine."
I said, "But you have left me with nothing."
He said, "Until I come back, I leave my curse upon you. You will no longer hope for the future, for every day you will fear my return. I will be in your thoughts and in your dreams. I am already so much a part of you that you will not feel alive without me. In my absence, I will still be your master."

As the days went by, I felt strangely empty.
As the weeks went by, I began to seek him out so that I would
once again feel alive.
As the months went by, I entered the pit of depression, and anger ruled me.
As the year past, I felt I was already dead and wanted to end it all.
If you like the arts & humanities side of our field, don't forget to check out Pallimed: Arts & Humanities.

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