Blood donors needed
Today I received unfortunate news -- someone I greatly admire has terminal cancer.
His name is Chris Heward, and he is one of the best human being on the planet. He is by far the most rigorous scientist I have ever met, and is filled with compassion for all of humanity. As the president of Kronos Laboraties (www.kronoslaboratory.com/) he has tirelessly worked on diseases relating to aging, and has contributed meaningfully to many areas such as Alzheimer's disease, prion related diseases, menopause, and oxidative stress. In addition to considering him a friend, I feel a duty to help him in any way I can because of how much he has done for the world.
His chances of survival are small (less thane 1%), but there is something you can do to help. He is going to receive an experimental granulocyte transplant therapy, and donors are needed. The donation process is not harmful, and in addition to possibly helping Chris you may also be helping cure cancer.
Below I have included an e mail from John Schloendorn of the Methuselah Foundation detailing how to donate granulocytes.
My friend Chris Heward was diagnosed with Stage IV terminal esophageal cancer. His chances of surviving a year are less than 1%, even with the best available care. For those of you who don't know Chris, he is the president of the Kronos Science Laboratories, a Phoenix-based anti-aging hub www.kronoslaboratory.com
Those of you who do know Chris will understand that he is not going down without a fight. Chris has very much the power of Kronos behind him, and we all hope that the experimental effort being launched there will not just benefit Chris, but many other sufferers of terminal cancers.
Plan A is based on the granulocyte therapy developed by Zheng Cui. Many of you know Zheng as well, and will remember that he made headlines throughout the anti-aging communities last year by achieving a complete cure for all types of cancer tested in the mouse.
A brief recap:
Zheng by accident discovered that one of his mice was immune to any transplanted mouse or human cancers. This remarkable animal resisted a million times the dose of cancer cells that is 100% lethal to other mice. The trait turned out to be heritable in a single-gene mendelian fashion, but the responsible gene has so far resisted discovery. The cancer resistance was mediated by leukocytes, probably mostly of the granulocyte type. Granulocytes from the cancer-resistant mice chase cancer cells in a petri dish and destroy them. Granulocytes from other mice do not do that. Transplantation of granulocytes from cancer-resistant mice into other mice can transfer the cancer immunity, as well as cure existing cancers of all types tested (which were many types!).
When Zheng looked in people, he found: Granulocytes form cancer patients never chase cancer cells. Granulocytes from healthy people sometimes chase cancer cells. Granulocytes from people in cancer-free families often chase cancer cells. In September 2008, at the Methuselah Foundation sponsored "Aging 08" conference at UCLA, Zheng announced the launch of a clinical trial investigating the therapeutic effect of transplanting granulocytes from cancer-free donors (apt at chasing cancer cells in petri dishes) into cancer patients. A video of Zheng's Aging 08 talk discussing all this in more detail is available here www.vimeo.com/1650186
Shortly after Aging 08, Zheng's trial was put on hold by the FDA for certain bioethical concerns they had, and has been on hold since. Unfortunately, it is quite normal for this agency to charge ahead with the speed of a glacier. Chris does not have that kind of time. Our friends at Kronos are now scrambling to revive Zheng's technology and apply it to Chris in the few months he has left. However, even for Kronos, this is not possible without your help. Here are a couple of ways:
(1) Donate granulocytes
The most critical resource for this project are granulocyte donors. The granulocyte donation process itself is harmless and simple for the donor. Granulocyte transplantation is in routine clinical use to treat a variety of infections. However, for Zheng's therapy, many donors are needed to treat one patient, and the donors have to be selected for limited blood type and immune system compatibility. Thus, a fairly large number of individuals must be screened. If you get selected, the benefits will include adequate payment, possibly a free trip to Zheng's facility at Wake Forest, Florida, and - in my opinion best of all - knowing whether your granulocytes possess the cancer-chasing ability. Oh yes, and who knows, maybe help discover the cure for cancer. Please complete the attached form to participate in the first round of screening. Send it to Wendy at Kronos: Wendy.Bezotte@kronoslaboratory.com Her email address and (shared!) fax number are also given on the form. I sent mine today.
(2) Forward this message
To reach a large enough number of donors, please forward this information to as many people as you can. Chris values his life a lot more than his privacy, and is explicitely asking us to launch this as a chain email. If you have a blog, blog away. If you're a rockstar, announce it on stage. Don't forget to attach the form. Or pour sacks of them into the audience.
(3) Wish Chris well
Chris has set up a Facebook page where he tells his story in a more personal way, and posts updates. Search "Chris Heward" and you will find him -- he's the smiling bald guy. If you would like to help in other ways, email Wendy directly, Wendy.Bezotte@kronoslaboratory.com
That's all folks. Let's see what we can do.