Adding this to my long list of Quotes I Love,
Please see embedded my in-depth video interviews with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross (director of SACRI) in the following press release from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI).
note: The researchers’ Clinical Cancer Research paper can be found at this link, “Dual mTORC1/2 Blockade Inhibits Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Initiating Cells In Vitro and In Vivo and Synergizes with Temozolomide to Increase Orthotopic Xenograft Survival“.
October 14, 2014
University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial
Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI) have made a discovery that could prolong the life of people living with glioblastoma – the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Samuel Weiss, PhD, Professor and Director of the HBI, and Research Assistant Professor Artee Luchman, PhD, and colleagues, published their work today in Clinical Cancer Research, which is leading researchers to start a human phase I/II clinical trial as early as Spring 2015.
Researchers used tumour cells derived from 100 different glioblastoma patients to test drugs that could target the disease. When these human brain tumour-initiating cells were inserted into an animal model, researchers discovered that when using a drug, AZD8055, combined with Temozolomide (TMZ) – a drug already taken by most glioblastoma patients – the life of the animals was extended by 30 per cent.
“Shutting off vital tumour growth processes can lead to the death of human brain tumour-initiating cells. Our research has identified a key process in brain tumour growth that we were able to target with AZD8055,” says Luchman from the university’s Cumming School of Medicine and a member of the HBI.
Researchers used the new therapy to inhibit a pathway in the cancer cells known as mTOR signaling – putting the brakes on this pathway, combined with the current standard therapy, caused more of the cancer cells to die. Scientists are now working with investigators at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) to start a Canadian clinical trial that may eventually include glioblastoma patients across the country.
“Discovering new pathways and therapies that can be tested in the clinic provides the greatest hope for brain cancer patients and their families,” says Weiss, leader of the university’s Brain and Mental Health strategic research priority.
Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults. The progression and complexity of the tumours are often difficult to treat. The median survival for patients is 15 months, with less than five per cent of patients surviving beyond five years.
University of Calgary researchers including Luchman, Weiss and Dr. Greg Cairncross – director of SACRI, and leader of the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) ‘Therapeutic Targeting of Glioblastoma research program at the university – are now working with cancer researchers Dr. Warren Mason (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto) and Dr. Lesley Seymour (Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group’s Investigational New Drug Program), and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca, to plan a clinical trial testing a similar, but newer, drug related to AZD8055 (called AZD2014), in combination with TMZ, in patients with glioblastoma.
“This is an important initiative – to test new drugs, being developed for other types of cancers in the laboratory to identify which are most promising for testing in patients with glioblastoma. NCIC CTG is excited to partner in the development of this clinical trial, which will be funded by a grant from the TFRI as well as grants from Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute to NCIC CTG,” says Seymour.
The study was funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and the Canadian Stem Cell Network.
Taiwan documentary “If There is a Reason to Study” (學習的理由) by Adler Yang (楊逸帆) will be screened at Chinese Documentary Festival 2014 in Hong Kong. This reporter has the great pleasure to have an in-depth video interview with the young 19 years old director to talk about the film. Here is a brief film description from the festival,
“Humanity [RenWen] Junior High School is a non-traditional school in Taiwan. To encourage free development, there is no ranking based on grades. On the other hand, however, students must face the same standardised tests as students from traditional schools in order to progress to senior high.
The director, aged only 14 at the time of filming, used his camera to record what his classmates said as they faced the challenge, and to explore the motivations behind studying.“
When Yang was only 14 years old in 2009, he started filming footage for an earlier 6 minutes version of this film called 《不想考基測 The Soul》(2010)). Majority of the filming for Reason to Study was completed in 2010 with brief update footage of the documentary subjects at the end of the film. Readers may be amazed to hear that Yang already had 70+ hours of footage to work with to create his 6 minutes short 2010 film《不想考基測 The Soul》 (viewable on YouTube). And then 300+ hours of footage to work with in his latest 93 minutes feature “If There is a Reason to Study” (學習的理由).
The film is a frank and interesting look at education in RenWen and it even features the film director taking a public exam specifically for this film in order to experience what his schoolmates experienced through the eyes of the young director (14/15 years old at the time). The film is screening on 17/9 (Wed) at 7:30 pm & 21/9 (Sun) at 2:30 pm at agnès b. CINEMA, Hong Kong Arts Centre (香港藝術中心 agnès b. 電影院).
Here is my in-depth video interview with Yang to talk about the film,
Here is a trailer,
Documentary title: Women’s Horizon (好風景)
Directors: Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) and Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄).
Casts: Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai (佳佳), Charlene, Chan Hei (陳熹).
Film rating: **** out of 5
Women’s Horizon (好風景) is documentary that recorded the different small slices of lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 fall to 2012 spring. In 58 minutes, the filmmakers were successful in getting the viewers to see how the five women living their lives and for this reviewer, to care about them all. The filmmakers were careful in telling/reminding the viewers by putting up slides on screen part way through the film stating “We are not comparing or judging. We don’t want the audience to generalize all Hong Kong women either. This might only a be a tiny part of their life. Going in front of the camera may cause hesitation or glossing over issues, We want to capture that brief moment of their sincere reality.“
Without heavy hands nor trying to sensationalize things, the film gives viewers windows to the women’s work lives, family lives, their aspirations, their disappointments, their dating/love lives, and more. And at one point, we felt like an intimate participant along Kai Kai’s political protest and can emphasize the changes she must have gone through since the beginning of the film.
Watching the film, there are many scenes with Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei that put a smile on my face, made me laugh out loud, got me thinking, felt sad, and got me scared for what I saw on screen. These are signs of a good documentary.
As far as this reporter knows (plus checking with Jo), Women’s Horizon is possibly the first Hong Kong documentary that wishes/plans to come back to revisit the same documentary subjects in a few years time (if the documentary subjects are willing to participate). Jo mentioned to this reviewer in an video interview that she and Byran were inspired and influenced by the British Up Series when they were planning the documentary in 2010. As a big admirer and lover of the Up Series, this reviewer hopes Jo & Byran’s wishes will come true and viewers will have the pleasure to learn more about Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei in a few years.
Women’s Horizon (好風景) film outline,
“[Women's Horizon (好風景)] Paints a portrait of five unique Hong Kong women. Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake;; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner;; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church;; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore;; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents. The documentary recorded their lives from 2010 to 2012. It represents a history of their growth, a reflection of their temporal moods and aspirations for the the future. The images filmed are like five mobile mirrors into individual lives revealings their feeling intentionally or unintentionally. The documentary is not aiming to judge but solely at catching a glimpse of the women’s innermost feelings in this era.”
Here is a trailer,
Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) is the co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景) with Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄). A documentary that recorded the lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 to 2012. Here is a description of the five women from the film outline,
“Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents.”
Here is a trailer,
When Jo and Bryan were first planning to shoot Women’s Horizon in 2010, they talked about being inspired by the British Up Series documentary that has “followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old.” The directors of Women’s Horizon hopes to revisit the lives of the five Hong Kong women in a few years to make another documentary. Over the two and a half years, the filmmakers made the documentary with their own money and shot ~60 hours of footage and editing the footage down to a 58 minutes documentary.
Adding these to my long list of Quotes I Love,
“Deploy or Die.” (instead of “Demo or Die” – Nicholas Negroponte; or “Publish or Perish” in the old days) – Joi Ito at 2014 TED Talk “Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”” (transcript via TED)
“Learning over Education. To me, Education is what people do to you.
And Learning is what you do to yourself.” – Joi Ito at 2014 TED Talk “Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”” (transcript via TED)
Inspirational/Interesting things mentioned in speech:
- Samsung SMT – Samsung Techwin Pick and Place Machine
- Gen9 gene assembler