Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stress..

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:54 am

Study: Stop blaming Twitter for your stress

Social media, on its own, probably doesn’t explain why you’re stressed out, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center.

The research, which is based on a survey of 1,801 American adults, showed that people who didn’t use social media did not, in general, feel less stressed than people who did. In fact, a certain level of email, Twitter and mobile photo sharing was linked to less stress, at least among female respondents.

Rutgers University associate professor of communications Keith Hampton said that the relationship between social media and stress was perhaps more complicated than some media narratives suppose.

“There is a great deal of speculation that social media users feel extra pressure to participate and keep up on social media, to avoid the ‘fear of missing out’ in activities that others share,” he said in a statement. “But it turns out social media users don’t feel any more stress in everyday life than non-users or those who only lightly use digital technologies.”

In some cases, however, social media was conditionally linked to higher levels of stress, mostly due to what the researchers referred to as “cost of caring” effects. Facebook in particular, and social media in general, tends to make users, especially women, more aware of stressful events happening in the lives of their friends and family – that increased awareness tends to prove stressful.

Women on Facebook were 13% more likely to be aware of stressful events happening to close family or friends, when compared to non-Facebook-using women. Among men, that number was 8%.

What’s more, the women surveyed reported feeling stress based on a wider range of events than the men did. Four different types of events were found to be predictors of stress among women, compared to just two for men. ... tress.html

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:36 am

Why You Should Stop Calling Thyroid Cancer 'Good Cancer'

A thyroid cancer diagnosis has a strange reputation: It's cancer, but with a near 100 percent survival rate when caught in the early stages, it's one of the "good" cancers, as many doctors and even other survivors will tell you.

But Alan Ho, M.D., Ph.D., thinks that categorization is a common misunderstanding of people who have never had thyroid cancer nor treated it. Ho is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who specializes in malignancies like thyroid cancer. In a phone call, he told HuffPost that focusing on the cancer's "excellent" survival rate eclipses the hardships patients go through in their treatment and lifelong maintenance of the disease.

"You can recognize some of the positives about the survival numbers for thyroid, but that can't allow us to be dismissive of the true hardships and costs that patients have to go through," said Ho. Like all cancers, there isn't just one type of thyroid cancer, which means there isn't one type of cure. Treatment can include surgery, radiation (usually radioactive iodine treatment), chemotherapy and hormone therapy. None of these therapies is a walk in the park; surgery has low risks of bleeding, infection and nerve damage; radiation can mess with thyroid hormone levels; and, of course, chemotherapy has a whole host of serious side effects.

Often, explained Ho, surviving thyroid cancer means actually living with the cancer for the rest of one's life. With that comes frequent scans and screenings, daily medications that need to be monitored and, of course, fear and anxiety that the cancer may return. Recurrence can occur in about 10 to 30 percent of thyroid cancer patients and can take place 10 to 20 years after treatment.

A common treatment for thyroid cancer is to remove the thyroid, which is a gland that produces hormones essential to bodily function. To replace those hormones, survivors need to be on lifetime thyroid hormone replacement therapy -- usually a daily pill. Ho notes that some doctors might prescribe higher than usual levels of the hormone replacement in order to keep cancer at bay, but with the therapy come possible side effects like osteoporosis or even cardiac arrhythmia. Taken all together, said Ho, the hardships of surviving and dealing with thyroid cancer are significant.

"Especially for this disease, the survival numbers don't really tell the entire story about what patients have to go through," Ho concluded.

A lifetime of thyroid replacement therapy and vigilance against returning cancer has certainly taken its toll on Gary Bloom, 53, of Olney, Maryland. Bloom is a papillary thyroid cancer survivor and co-founder and executive director of the non-profit Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association (ThyCa). It's been almost 20 years since his initial diagnosis, and in his lifetime he's had three surgeries and five radioactive iodine treatments. His cancer has also returned once. But even though his cancer is no longer a daily worry for Bloom, those years of treatments and tests and a secondary cancer diagnosis have deeply affected him.

"When it's time for my check up, all of a sudden the anxiety and reality of being a cancer survivor comes back," Bloom told HuffPost. "The anxiety is real and is predicated on the fact that thyroid cancer does recur, even 20, 30 years out." Bloom has also recently readjusted his maintenance medication, and he confessed he's "now not doing as well."

"Most of us will be monitored for a lifetime after we've been diagnosed and treated," he said. "I meet many people who do not thrive on their medication."

To help other survivors cope with the lifetime of maintenance, Bloom helped start the ThyCa organization to serve as a forum for thyroid patients to support each other and to provide free educational material to the newly diagnosed and resources to help survivors maintain their health. This long-term perspective is necessary precisely because there are so many thyroid cancer survivors. But it's not enough to simply live. Lifetime maintenance of thyroid cancer can come with exhaustion, memory issues, hair loss and a cognitive "fuzziness" as a result of the medication, said Bloom.

Ho also recognizes that survival isn't the entire story for thyroid cancer patients. He's currently leading an international study to see if he can increase the percentage of patients whose thyroid cancer is completely eliminated in the first round of treatment. Doing so would cut down on subsequent doctor visits, monitoring and blood work, which would in turn ease survivors' psychological burden, he explained.

"A more balanced view would be to say, 'Yes, there are certainly many other malignancies that have much worse outcomes in terms of survival,'" said Ho. "But all of these cancers have associated with them their own costs with regards to the treatments."

"We don't see cancer as a competition from disease to disease," Bloom agreed. "The only competition we would see is against the disease -- all of us as survivors are trying to live." ... 17862.html

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:04 pm

Son's Rare Cancer Leads Family On Quest For Cure

Treating cancer is a race against time.

Every once in a while, there's an experimental drug that's so promising it makes the race even more urgent. Patients and their families plead with pharmaceutical companies to get it before the Food and Drug Administration's approval.

The demand has been particularly high for a new class of drugs that harnesses the immune system to fight cancer.

Kathy Liu first heard about immunotherapy for cancer two years ago at a conference focused on the rare renal cancer her 10-year-old son, Joey, was fighting. Liu had her son's tumors analyzed, and he seemed like a promising candidate for immunotherapy.

"That's why I'm so desperate, contacting the drug companies," she explained. "I told them I understand the policy, I understand the regulation and I understand all the risks, but my child just has no time to wait."

Clinical trials were underway for several of the new immunotherapy drugs, but there were no trials available for children.

Pharmaceutical companies rarely offer clinical trials of new cancer drugs for children. Several pediatric cancer specialists said that's because of a lack of financial incentives for the drug companies, as well as the complexity of organizing trials for so few people, given the rarity of childhood cancer.

Only 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20, yet cancer is the second-leading cause of death for people in that age group.

By last fall, Joey's cancer had metastasized. After surgery, chemo, radiation and numerous drugs that turned out to be effective for only a month or two, the family had exhausted all available treatments.

The family's doctors advised Liu to "go home" with Joey to enjoy the rest of their time together.

"We can't just go home," she said. "For us, that means giving up. If that happened to me maybe I would make the decision we just go home, but it's my child. I can't just like do nothing and go home. I have to try everything."

Last spring with the help of a friend, Liu petitioned several pharmaceutical companies to gain access to one of a handful of immunotherapy drugs in development. The petition quickly received over 17,000 signatures, but was ineffective. And even if she could have gotten one of the drugs, their doctor, Dr. Joanne Lagmay, an oncologist at Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., was reluctant to give it to a child.

"It's one of those really challenging things for me as a physician," Lagmay said. "I took an oath not to harm. And I worry about that in the back of my head, because it's a new drug. And we don't even know what dose to start him with."

In September, the FDA approved Keytruda, the first drug in the class of medicines called PD-1 inhibitors. Once a drug is approved, doctors are free to prescribe it to any patients they see fit, regardless of whether or not the FDA specifically approved the medicine for people like them.

Liu called doctors across the country to find one who would try Keytruda for Joey. Ultimately Dr. Jim Geller, an oncologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, agreed. Geller had seen Joey before as a patient, and thought there was a chance the drug could help.

Liu, her husband, Luke, and their 3-year-old son, David, packed up and left their Florida home temporarily behind. By October, Joey was admitted to Cincinnati Children's and ready to receive his first dose of Keytruda.

When asked then what he knew about Keytruda, he said, "That I'm the first kid probably getting it, maybe? My mom said that to me." Was that an exciting prospect? "Yeah and also, if you're the first one, it's sort of like a test."

And while he admitted being a little nervous, he knew that the drug was supposed to give him a chance to get well.

In the months beforehand, Joey had become distressingly thin. His weight had fallen to 44 pounds. Once he was receiving around-the-clock care in Cincinnati, Joey ate better. Doctors and nurses were also able to give him a mix of pain medication to relieve the symptoms of his cancer, which were becoming increasingly painful.

However, Joey's cancer proved too advanced, and by November, his health started to deteriorate. The family talked with Joey's doctors about whether he should continue taking Keytruda after the second dose, or if they should return home to Gainesville to be close to their friends and community. Kathy Liu was devastated by the prospect of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in a hospital, but was determined to continue treatment, if it could help.

Geller said that she was welcome to stay, and that the hospital would give the family whatever they needed. But he feared the child might die in Cincinnati, far from his friends.

"I have discussed with Kathy and with families facing similar situations that it's not wrong to stop treating cancer," Dr. Geller said. "It doesn't mean you're giving up on the child. It just means you're putting your faith in a different place, and medicine has its limitations."

Geller said the Lius found themselves in a gray area between the treatments that were available, and the ones just ahead on the horizon.

"Over the 15 or so years that I have been doing this, I don't know many parents that have pushed harder than Kathy did," Dr. Geller said. "And I mean that in a positive way."

Despite the new treatment, Joey passed away the day before Thanksgiving. Hundreds of people come to the funeral, and after the service his friends gathered outside the church to release balloons.

Even after his death, his mother remained determined to improve the outcome for children fighting rare cancers. She set up a nonprofit group, Joey's Wings, to support research. Despite all she had done, Liu had one regret: She felt she should have pushed more.

"If Joey could get this drug last year, even just a couple of months earlier, maybe it's a different story," she said.

The drug hadn't worked fast enough to save Joey's life, but it had worked just enough to make his mother wonder: What if? ... t-for-cure

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:52 am

Scientists Shed New Light on Mother-Child Obesity Transmission

SYDNEY – Australian scientists have discovered a mechanism in guinea pigs that could explain how obesity is transmitted from mother to child and the difficulties an obese woman faces during pregnancy, according to a study appearing Wednesday in the magazine “Development.”

According to genetic biologist Rebecca Robker, obese mothers transmit metabolic problems to their babies through mitochondrial changes in their ovaries that occur long before conception takes place.

The biologist from the University of Adelaide had observed that obese women do not respond well to fertility treatments and have a tendency to miscarry, regardless of whether the conception is natural or not.

In the study, scientists found that the ovaries of laboratory rats with obesity problems were different in some respects compared to the thinner animals.

One of the scientists observed that in the overweight specimens the mitochondria, which produce the energy required for cellular activity, were damaged, dysfunctional or less than what it should be.

They also discovered less mitochondrial DNA in the embryos of overweight laboratory rats in a wide range of tissues, such as the heart, liver, muscles, and even in embryos transplanted to the womb of a thin rat.

The scientists also managed to reverse the damage to the ovaries of the laboratory rats through medication that reduced cellular stress, opening the possibility of developing a treatment for obese women. ... ryId=13936

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:28 am

Surviving cancer: four tales of beating the odds

Maria Kavallaris had finally rid herself body of the cancer that insinuated itself into her body at the age of 21 when she received more bad news.

Her 30-year-old brother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was dead within months.

"It was dreadful," she says. "We had no history of cancer in the family."

Cancer surrounded Kavallaris. She was working for the Cancer Council to support her undergraduate studies when she was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in 1983.

Then she was plunged into chemotherapy, taking five drugs at a time and becoming very unwell.

"When this all happened I made a commitment to myself that I was going to go on and have a research career," Professor Kavallaris says.

"As soon as I finished my undergraduate degree the first thing I did was go and enrol in a PhD, and then not even half way through my PhD, unfortunately, my brother contracted cancer.

"It sort of cemented this was what I should be doing."

Only 10 per cent of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive another five years, and his case was so advanced that it was untreatable.

"I think the thing that struck me was I had gone through chemotherapy but my brother's cancer was so advanced they didn't even do that.

"I thought to myself there's got to be better options than to tell someone who's relatively young, 'There's nothing we can do'.

"I said to myself, we're going to start working on more effective therapies."

Now working at the Children's Cancer Institute, Kavallaris is researching what makes cancer cells sensitive to chemotherapy and she is trying to produce less toxic therapies, particularly using nanotechnology.

"You can package drugs with the idea that you can deliver them direct to the tumour cells without hitting the other cells, reducing toxicity and also increasing the efficacy."

The work has given her a useful purpose following her brother's death, and her own experience with cancer has certainly helped her to order her priorities and enjoy life.

But the stress of nearly losing one child to cancer, only to then lose another, was devastating to her parents.

"I don't think they ever recovered." ... 3dtmd.html

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:43 am

Twitter Love: Study reveals engaged couples’ Twitter habits

“I CRIED & said YES to the man who finally proposed to me. I’m engaged!!!! #Engaged”

Sound familiar among your friends? Thought so.

If you’re one of the 118,000 or so Aussie couples planning to get married this year, chances are it’s affected your behaviour on social media more than you realise.

A study by Munmun De Choudhury and Michael Massimi has found that the Twitter habits of the newly engaged change drastically, and the micro-networking site is now being used in place of posting an engagement ad in the newspaper or changing your Facebook status.

While research in the past has examined how the bereaved, the depressed and the unemployed use Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, “our work contributes to this growing literature by examining engagement, a hitherto unexplored life event, and by building on the methods and findings in these studies,” De Choudhury and Massimi say.

Celebrities are guilty of it too: Lady Gaga announced her engagement to Taylor Kinney on social media. Source: Getty Images

The study, She Said Yes! Liminality and Engagement Announcements on Twitter, looked into the behaviour of 923 newly-engaged Twitter users. They analysed tweets from the nine month period preceding their engagement, to tweets sent a year after their engagement announcement.

“Engagement is interesting because it is an event that marks the beginning of a transitory period from courtship to marriage, and its occurrence is often evinced in social media through a prominent announcement,” De Choudhury and Massimi say.

“Our findings, on one hand, validate known observations in the engagement and wedding ritual literature. They tell us that social media tools like Twitter are emergent technologies in the study of major milestones in people’s lives.

“On the other hand, our findings reveal how individuals might be adapting their behaviour and carefully crafting their self-presentation on a public social platform like Twitter during this important marker in their lives.”

There were predictable changes — things like switching from using ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ to ‘fiance’ — but there was also an increase in the use of inclusive terms like ‘we’ and ‘us’, an increase in emotive terms like “love” “beautiful” “amazing” and “gorgeous”, and an increase in future tense. Total posts for the newly engaged more than doubled, followers increased, and the amount of days the social networking site was used increased as well.

“‘Togetherness rituals’ and ‘wedding planning’ were the two most frequent categories identified in posts,” De Choudhury and Massimi wrote, citing things like cooking together, travelling together and “mundane and routine-chore activities” as topics consistently increasing in tweets.

Actual tweets analysed post-engagement included things like:

“My fiancee made red wine risotto with crimini mushrooms and shrimp for dinner. jealous? You should be.”
“I love my fiance!! He’s already planned theme weeknights when we merge into a family.”
“We just got back from a camping trip. Definitely had nothing to be afraid of at night.. my fiance is the scariest thing in the woods.”

Lisa Sokolowski was one of the women tracked in the study. Here’s one of her tweets from her engagement period:

Explaining her Twitter use changes, Sokolowski told the New York Times that “You don’t want to tweet too much about your boyfriend because it could make you look clingy,” but that once her boyfriend had proposed, “I started to tweet about him more. We were going to be entwined for the rest of our lives.”

Her views reflect others in the study, who told De Choudhury and Massimi that they changed their Twitter behaviour because “Marriage is a partnership, it’s only logical to start thinking of life as a ‘team’” and “to show that they’re something more than just boyfriend and girlfriend.”

Logically, as individuals moved closer to the wedding date, their posts mirrored the change:

“Almost just died florist had the wrong flowers written down for my #wedding”
“Picking out wedding ring bands today #yayyy”
“My wedding dress came in! :))))))))). can’t waiiiiit! to see it, try it on! hope it’s not too small ...”

While the study didn’t comment on whether these people’s Twitter followers find tweets like this a little annoying, one thing is clear: Engaged people love sharing their lives, loves, trials and tribulations on Twitter. A lot. ... 7223249204

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:33 pm

Good night’s sleep keeps blood cells young and healthy

Under normal conditions, many of the different types of tissue-specific adult stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells, exist in a state or dormancy where they rarely divide and have very low energy demands. “Our theory was that this state of dormancy protected hematopoietic stem cells from DNA damage and therefore protects them from premature aging,” says Dr. Michael Milsom, leader of the study.

However, under conditions of stress, such as during chronic blood loss or infection, hematopoietic stem cells are driven into a state of rapid cell division in order to produce new blood cells and repair the damaged tissue. “It’s like forcing you out of your bed in the middle of the night and then putting you into a sports car and asking you to drive as fast as you can around a race circuit while you are still half asleep,” explains Milsom. “The stem cells go from a state of rest to very high activity within a short space of time, requiring them to rapidly increase their metabolic rate, synthesize new DNA and coordinate cell division. Suddenly having to simultaneously execute these complicated functions dramatically increases the likelihood that something will go wrong.”

Indeed, experiments described in the study show that the increased energy demands of the stem cells during stress result in elevated production of reactive metabolites that can directly damage DNA. If this happens at the same time that the cell is trying to replicate its DNA, then this can cause either the death of the stem cell, or potentially the acquisition of mutations that may cause cancer.

Normal stem cells can repair the majority of this stress-induced DNA damage, but the more times you are exposed to stress, the more likely it is that a given stem cell will inefficiently repair the damage and then die or become mutated and act as a seed in the development of leukemia. “We believe that this model perfectly explains the gradual accumulation of DNA damage in stem cells with age and the associated reduction in the ability of a tissue to maintain and repair itself as you get older,” Milsom adds. ... d-healthy/

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Re: Stop Stress from Killing You, Part I: Identify the Stres

Post by kenobewan » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:33 am

New Cancer Technology Gives Investors a Shot in the Arm

George Soros , Michael Milken and David Bonderman are among marquee investors benefiting from early bets on a red-hot sector: young companies developing drugs that fight cancer by using the body’s immune system.

Interest in the nascent approach, known as immunotherapy, has taken off following the success of Yervoy and Opdivo, a pair of drugs developed by giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. The treatments could generate $8.5 billion in annual revenue by 2020, Credit Suisse predicts, or more than half the New York company’s 2014 revenue of $15.9 billion.

Hopes that fledgling companies will repeat and extend upon those advances are behind the recent share-price gains in Juno Therapeutics Inc., Kite Pharma Inc. and bluebird bio Inc. Their treatments, which take a different approach than Bristol-Myers’s, haven’t yet reached the market.

“It’s clearly something new and it won’t be smooth sailing,” said Arie Belldegrun, Kite’s chairman and chief executive. “But if we can deliver what we promise, for the first time you won’t talk about remission, you can even talk about cure of cancer.”

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor’s released a report naming five cancer immunotherapy agents among its top 10 drug prospects for 2015, underscoring growing enthusiasm for the strategy. Drugs made the list for their likely blockbuster sales potential as well as their probable impact on individual companies. No such drugs were included on its previous list in 2009.

More companies are gaining “insights into underlying biology plus an understanding of biological systems that should transform the treatment of many extremely serious diseases,” said James E. Flynn, managing partner at Deerfield Management Co., an investment firm betting on the area.

Among companies fueling current interest, only Bristol-Myers and Merck & Co. have had immunotherapy drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For many of the smaller-cap companies, it will be a year or more before studies help clarify the benefits, risks and market potential of their treatments.

Shares of Juno, which is developing therapies for leukemias and lymphomas, ended Friday’s trading at $45.52, following a December initial public offering at $24. Kite Pharma has soared to $62.80 from $28 since the beginning of October. Bluebird bio, driven more by advances by gene-therapy drugs than in immunotherapy, has climbed to $93.32 from $39 since early December.

The three companies’ treatments are complex, likely to be expensive and cause severe side effects for some patients; none has yet been approved. But the strategy has shown dramatic results in leukemia and other blood cancers in early trials and researchers are racing to find ways to extend their use to other cancers.

Indeed, researchers world-wide are working on various types of immunotherapy treatments, as well as strategies to combine them with existing treatments to tackle all kinds of cancer and extend their benefits to more patients.

Mr. Bonderman, a founder of TPG Capital, is Kite’s fourth-largest shareholder and a board member, with over 6% of the company’s stock from an early, personal investment, according to FactSet. He has seen his holdings soar to about $145 million in value.

Another early investor, hedge-fund veteran Donald Sussman, founder of Paloma Partners Management, holds a Kite stake worth about $100 million, according to regulatory filings. Representatives of Messrs. Bonderman and Sussman declined to comment.

The firm that manages George’s Soros’s wealth, Soros Fund Management, is Kite’s 11th-largest holder. It owns about 1.7% of the company’s stock after purchasing the shares at less than $30 each last summer, according to filings. A spokesman declined to comment.

Michael Milken also was an early investor in the company, said Mr. Belldegrun. A spokesman for Mr. Milken, who declined to confirm the investment, said the former junk-bond king’s “more than four decades of philanthropic work in medical research and public health has given him a deep understanding of the potential for lifesaving advances.”

Deerfield Management owns about 4% of the shares of bluebird, according to the most recent filings, while Steve Cohen ’s Point72 Asset Management LP owns nearly 2% of the shares. A spokesman for Point72 didn’t comment. Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen are investors in Juno, says Robert Nelsen, co-founder of Seattle-based venture-capital firm Arch Venture Partners, which controls stakes worth about $1 billion in nearly a half dozen companies pursuing immunotherapy and other cancer treatments. Arch owns about $470 million in shares of Juno, a company Arch co-founded, as well as $78 million of bluebird.

“I have been creating biotech companies for 28 years and this is the first one where the jaded doctors who have seen everything and have lost hope are shaking their heads in amazement,” said Mr. Nelsen, a managing director at Arch, which manages more than $2 billion.

A spokesman for Mr. Allen confirmed his investment in Juno. A spokesman for declined to comment.

Pension funds and venture-capital funds also are among those riding immunotherapy investments higher. The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. was an early investor in Juno and controls a nearly 30% stake in the company worth about $1.1 billion. The state investment fund has yet to cash out any shares.

Bristol and others working on immunotherapy drugs, including Merck, Roche Holding AG , AstraZeneca PLC and Novartis AG , are so large the financial impact of their immunotherapy drugs could be diluted by other businesses. That is why investors are bidding up smaller companies.

Not all the immunotherapy news has been upbeat, though: Dendreon Corp. , whose prostate cancer vaccine Provenge was hailed as the first immunotherapy at its approval in 2010, foundered amid limited efficacy, marketing gaffes, and better rival medicines. Dendreon is expected to be sold this month under bankruptcy court supervision to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. for $495 million.

The intense interest in immunotherapy, an idea that dates back to the 19th century, has emerged from a key discovery researcher James Allison made in the mid-1990s.

Dr. Allison, now the head of immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, discovered a way of releasing a natural brake on the immune system. Dr. Allison’s work paved the way for the development of Bristol-Myers’s Yervoy drug, which was approved in 2011 and was the first drug ever shown to improve survival in patients with advanced melanoma.

“Our understanding of the immune system, and how it interacts with cancer, has grown dramatically,” says Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, chief executive and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute, which funds immunotherapy research. ... 1424631798

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