medical research

Peoria Public Radio News
4:19 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Medical research projects on display in Peoria

A row of research posters at Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  It's a rare look at the hours of research and study that go on quietly in the Peoria region all the time. More than 50 projects were on display at the Annual Research Symposium at Jump Trading Simulation Center Wednesday.

It used to be the U of I College of Medicine Resident's Research Day but the event has grown to include OSF HealthCare and other healthcare disciplines.

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Health
6:46 am
Mon March 30, 2015

U of I Researchers Discover Cancer-Killing Drug

Rachel Botham, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, prepares solutions of proteins isolated from cancer cells that she treated with chemotherapy drugs. Botham has spent the past 5 years as part of a team working on the development of PAC-1, a new drug candidate for the treatment of brain cancer.
Credit Christine Herman

It's been just over a year since Brenda O’Brien brought her fiancé Pete Biondo to the emergency room at Mercy hospital in St. Louis. She thought he had a tooth infection. But it turned out to be something far more serious.

“They saw a tumor,” she said. “The next day they went in and did a biopsy of it, and they told us that it was anaplastic astrocytoma.”

A terminal form of brain cancer.

The tumor—which was the size of a grapefruit—was too large to be operated on. The doctors said Pete could expect to live another 7 to 10 months.

“I was devastated,” O’Brien said. “You just don’t expect that. So, it was shocking, and it took about, I guess, two days, to really let it sink in.”

Pete has outlived his prognosis by about 5 months. But the illness, the aggressive treatments involving radiation, chemotherapy and drugs to manage side effects, have taken a toll.

“There would be a delay in his thinking, he didn’t function for himself,” O’Brien said. “He had to have somebody live with him to make sure he ate something, make sure he did take showers… It’s been, you know, just a rollercoaster of a ride because at one point you think he’s dying and then the next couple months he seems to turn around, and the cycle starts all over again.”

Some 22,000 people in the United States will receive news like Pete’s this year. And roughly 15,000 will die from cancers of the brain and nervous system. That's nearly 3 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. For a patient with the most aggressive form of brain cancer, known as glioblastoma, the future is bleak.

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State News
12:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Durbin calling for increase in spending on medical research

Dick Durbin is calling for an increase in federal spending on medical research. The Illinois senator made his case Monday in Springfield, before  a group of doctors and scientists at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. IPR's Brian Mackey has more.

Durbin says federal investment in basic medical research has lagged far behind inflation. He says a decade ago, 30 percent of grant proposals were funded, while today that number is down to just 15 percent.

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