June 20th, 2009


Movie: UP

Pixar's latest release...we just saw it. It's getting four stars in lots of different reviews, but in my rating system it gets a 3 or less. The story is cute: widower's house gets surrounded by city, his dead wife didn't get to do her childhood dream, he feels dissatisfied and is unwilling to "retire" in a "home". So he hooks up his house to a bunch of helium baloons and flies away, house and all, headed for South America where his dead wife's dream can be completed. Probably the best thing about the movie was the spunk of the old man. A boyscout looking for his "helping an elder" badge stows away of the flying house, and they end up having unbelievable and somewhat stupid adventures together in South America, beating the badguys by the skin of their teeth, and returning stateside to claim the coveted service to elder boyscout badge. It's touching, and the story is coherent, but it was for me too outrageous, or silly, or something. It lost me early on. I stuck through the whole show but I don't exactly recommend it. Pixar has made better movies. At least it isn't immoral.

new cancer drug: a monoclonal antibody, ipilimumab


Ipilimumab is one of a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies, which stimulate the body's own immune system to fight disease. The experimental treatment is being developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Medarex, a US biotech company. The drug is being trialled on malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, Hodgkin's disease, lung cancer and prostate cancer. Studies are most advanced in melanoma, where it has been shown to prolong survival in patients with advanced forms of the disease. In the Mayo Clinic study of prostate cancer, researchers say that standard hormone treatment ignited the immune response, and adding ipilimumab was like "pouring gasoline on the pilot light".

Apparently it caused remarkable recession in several men's prostate cancers. During surgery the pathologists were having a hard time finding any remaining cancer cells.