Leading the Charge Against Lung Cancer: Diane Legg
By OBOS — April 28, 2010
From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Cheryl Bartlett
Nominee: Diane Legg, Co-Chair, Lung Cancer Alliance-Massachusetts
Diane Legg is a young mother of two children who was diagnosed with lung cancer over five years ago. With great determination, she is leading the charge to increase awareness and education about lung cancer, who it affects, and the status of research today compared to other cancers that all together do not have the mortality rates associated with lung cancer.
Fortunately, Diane is one of the lucky ones here to remind us that more must be done to better understand lung cancer and how to detect it early so that treatment can be curative.
With an 85 percent mortality rate, we need more people like Diane advocating for more funding to research diagnostic and treatment tools to increase the survival rates. In newly diagnosed cases, we are seeing younger and more women, espcially non-smoking related cases.
Despite her need to maintain a healthly lifestyle, she is tireless in her efforts to engage more leaders in this battle to reduce morbidity and mortality from this deadliest of all cancers.
Jovanovic D et al: Lung Cancer
The idea that antidepressants might be effective for cancer was first explored fifty years ago, and ample proof has emerged. To verify, access Medline or Pubmed, and enter “antidepressants” and “cancer.” With patience, you may retrieve more than seventy studies showing that antidepressants destroy cancer cells, inhibit their proliferation, convert multidrug resistant cells to chemotherapy sensitive, protect nonmalignant cells from damage by ionizing radiation and chemotherapy toxicity, and target the mitochondria of cancer cells, while sparing those of healthy ones. Antidepressants can arrest cancer even in advanced stages, occasionally reverse it, significantly extend life, and have shown much promise in malignancies often resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. In 1998, Brenda Penninx showed that at age 70, people who are chronically depressed have an increased risk of cancer of 88%, and an increased risk of dying of it of 50%.
Paradigm shifts may not become medical revolutions unless widely disseminated, so as to bypass vested interests. This one could do wonders for people, and for health economics. I have contributed five reviews to the advance.
Lieb, J. “Antidepressants, eicosanoids and the prevention and treatment of cancer.” Plefa (2001) 65(5&6), 233-239
Lieb, J. “Antidepressants, prostaglandins and the prevention and treatment of
cancer.” Medical Hypotheses (2007) 684-689
Lieb, J.”The multifaceted value of antidepressants in cancer therapeutics.” Editorial comment. European Journal of Cancer 44 (2) 2008 172-174
Lieb, J.”Defeating cancer with antidepressants.” Ecancermedicalscience. DOI 10.3332/eCMS.2008.88
Lieb, J.”The remarkable anticancer properties of antidepressants.” DOI.10.3332/eCMS.LTR.149
An impressive clinical study
.Two groups of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were analyzed and compared: Group A-26 patients (12 treated with chemotherapy –CT, 14 with best supportive care BSC), all receiving 10mg/day of Mianserin and Group B-26 patients with comparable corresponding characteristics, who were treated with chemotherapy.
An objective clinical response to chemotherapy was observed in five patients receiving Mianserin, and only two patients who did not receive it. Median survival time for Mianserin patients was also significantly better. A surprising fact emerged in 2 patients with adenocarcinoma: one with local tumor recurrence and diffuse bone metastases, evidently stable with no further progression for 37 months, the other with metastases in the upper mediastinal lymph nodes, with no further progression for 26 months. Symptom control (pain, dyspnea, and emotional functioning) were significantly better in Mianserin Group A. Antidepressants are highly specific and humans variable, thus some of the non responders may well have responded to alternatives to Mianserin.
Jovanovic D, et al: Mianserin therapy in advanced lung cancer patients. 8th Central European Lung Cancer Conference. Vienna 2002. Internal Process Division, Monduzzi Editore 2002; 339-343
Julian Lieb, M.D