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Monday, August 21, 2017

Fight against cancer:

Featured here is Indra and Rani Anandasabapathy's daughter Niroshana. I am pleased to publish this on our Blog. "Cell" and "Nature" are two of the most prestigious journals in the Basic Sciences.

New insights into why the immune system fails to see cancer

Killer T cells surround a cancer cell. Credit: NIH
Journal reference: Cell search and more info website
Provided by: Brigham and Women's Hospital search and more info 

Cancer hides in plain sight of the immune system. The body's natural tumor surveillance programs should be able to detect and attack rogue cancer cells when they arise, and yet when cancer thrives, it does so because these defense systems have failed. A team of investigators led by Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, PhD, at Brigham and Women's Hospital have uncovered a critical strategy that some cancers may be using to cloak themselves - they find evidence of this genetic program across 30 human cancers of the peripheral tissue, including melanoma skin cancer. Their r"Our study reveals a new immunotherapy target and provides an evolutionary basis for why the immune system may fail to detect cancers arising in tissues," said corresponding author Anandasabapathy, of BWH's Department of Dermatology. "The  we report on helps the immune system balance itself. Parts of this program prevent the immune system from destroying healthy organs or tissues, but might also leave a  for detecting and fighting cancer."
The authors studied immune mononuclear phagocytes - a group of disparate cells that act as the "Pac man" of the immune system. When these cells detect foreign invaders and dying normal tissues, they devour or engulf their components. These cells then present these components on their surface teach T  to maintain tolerance to healthy tissues, or to fight infections and pathogens. Despite differences in function, all immune mononuclear phagocytes found in the skin- (a peripheral tissue like lung and gut) share a common set of genetic programming, which is further enhanced when they enter the tissue. This program is conserved in fetal and adult development, and across species. And, the research team reports, is co-opted by multiple human cancers of tissue.esults are published June 29 in Cell.
The team finds that this program is prompted by an "instructive cue" from interferon gamma - a molecule that plays a critical role in regulating immunity. The authors find IFN-gamma for mononuclear phagocytes in development but that IFN-gamma and tissue immune signatures are much higher in skin cancer than in healthy skin. Having an  measured by IFN-gamma and tissue signatures correlated with improved metastatic melanoma survival outcomes, making these signatures potential biomarkers for cancer survival.
The authors reasoned such a program might contain key molecules that help the immune system reduce inflammation, but that might also leave a blind spot to cancer detection. One of the key genes the researchers detected is suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2). When this gene was turned off in a mouse model, the immune system was able to robustly detect and reject cancer in models of melanoma and thymoma ( of the thymus). They also observed improved vaccination responses, and heightened auto-inflammation suggesting this gene normally dampens auto-infla
"Our research suggests that these cancers are co-opting -specific immune development to escape detection, but we see that turning off SOCS2 unmasks them," said Anandasabapathy. "This sheds new light on our understanding of how the immune system is programed to see cancers and also points the way toward new therapeutic targets for treating cancers that have these signatures."
More information: Nirschl CJ et al. "IFN-gamma-dependent tissue immune homeostasis is co-opted in the tumor microenvironment" Cell DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.06.01mmatory responses and contracts protective immunity.

Please also read the write up in yesterday's Sunday Times. 

Sunday Times 2

Fight against cancer: Doctor with Lankan roots leads team in research breakthrough

View(s): 253

NEW YORK – A team of investigators, led by Dr Niroshana Anandasabapathy, a physician of Sri Lankan parentage and an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Harvard Medical School, has discovered new insights into why the immune system fails to see cancer—even though “it hides in plain sight of the immune system”.
The body’s natural tumour surveillance programmes should be able to detect and attack rogue cancer cells when they arise, and yet when cancer thrives, it does so because these defence systems have failed, according to the study.
Described as a new frontier for cancer, and called immunotherapy, the investigators have uncovered a critical strategy that some cancers may be using to cloak themselves as they have found evidence of this genetic programme across 30 human cancers of the peripheral tissue, including melanoma skin cancer. Their results have been published in Cell, a medical research journal.
“Our study reveals a new immunotherapy target and provides an evolutionary basis for why the immune system may fail to detect cancers arising in tissues,” said Anandasabapathy. “The genetic programme we report on helps the immune system balance itself. Parts of this programme prevent the immune system from destroying healthy organs or tissues, but might also leave a blind spot for detecting and fighting cancer.”
Dr Anandasabapathy, the lead author, is an MD, Phd from the Stanford University Medical School, held a Dermatology Fellowship at the New York University Medical Center, researched in Immunology at the Rockefeller Institute and worked with the late Ralph Steinman – (who was awarded the Nobel prize for his work on the role of DENDRITIC cells in immunology).

Currently at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr Anandasabapathy is the daughter of Rani and Dr Indra Anandasabapathy, an anesthesiologist in Staten Island, New York, and who graduated from the Medical School in Colombo in 1967.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creative Spot by Srianee (Bunter) Fernando

The inspiration for this painting came from a scene I witnessed some years ago in Sri Lanka outside a Buddhist temple, where there were several stalls where flower sellers were selling mainly lotuses to the worshippers entering the temple.  It was quite a colorful and rather peaceful scene.  I took a photograph to get me started, but my painting is not exactly like the photograph.  The tree above the makeshift stall had huge leaves, which I have tried to replicate in the painting.  I have no idea what kind of a tree it is.  Maybe someone will know…


Monday, August 14, 2017

Acknowledgement from Ramani Collure

Don Collure

11:58 (5 hours ago)
 to Lakshmanme
Dear Lucky,

I would appreciate it, if you could insert the note below into the group blog on my behalf.

Thanks.  Ramani Collure.

Thank you to all  Mahendra Collures  batch mates, for the kind messages and sympathy shared during  our time of loss.  We were deeply touched by your words of condolence.

In appreciation.

Ramani Collure, Nishani and family

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rudra Rasaratnam FRCS

He did a few lectures for us in the early sixties when he was Resident Surgeon GHC. I met and spoke to him at Mrs. Padma Uragoda’s (wife of Dr. Chris Uragoda) funeral last year. Mr. Rasaratnam (as he wanted to be called) and Chris worked together in the Surgical Professorial Unit under Professor Milroy Paul (Rudra’s uncle) in the early sixties when Rudra had just returned from the UK. Rudra used to speak with a heavy English accent and I was surprised that he still had it when I spoke to him last year. Chris and Rudra were close friends and shared a common interest in wildlife.

RASARATNAM - RUDRA (Retired Consultnat Cardiothoracic Surgeon) - Son of late Mr & Mrs V. Rasaratnam,​ beloved brother of Drupathy,​ late Sundari,​ Solochana and late Anandan,​ passed away peacefully on 7th August at his residence. Remains lie at A.F. Raymond Funeral Parlour,​ Borella on Wednesday,​ 9th August from 9.00 a.m. to be followed by a cremation at the General Cemetery,​ Kanatte at 4.30 p.m.097659

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Creative Spot by Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

"Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh"

This is an instrumental version dominated by the saxophone (and piano) played by myself on the Yamaha Tyros 5 Keyboard work station.

This song is from the movie Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (My Heart is Mine But My Love Someone Else's) which is a 1960 Indian Hindi-language romantic drama film produced by S. A. Bagar. The film tells the story of a surgeon who is obligated to marry the daughter of a family friend, while he is in love with a colleague nurse, played by Meena Kumari. It is one of the noted acting performances of lead actress Meena Kumari's career  The film's music is by the famous  Shankar Jaikishan, and features hit song, the Hawaiin-themed "Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh" sung by Lata Mangeshkar. At the 1961 Filmfare Awards, it created an upset by beating popular musical epic, Mughal-e-Azam of Naushad for the Best Music Director category.

This is a translation of the song (sent by Speedy)

Ajeeba dastan Hai

Main verse
What a strange story
Where does it begin
What are the stages of it
Neither he nor I understand.

Why does the wispy smoke
Arise from the lamp
I am having a dream
I have awoken from the dream

My congratulations to you
You are now someone else’s light
You are close to someone now
So you avoid others

You have someone’s love
You will begin a new life
When the evening comes
I shall remember you.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Razaque Ahamat writes.....

This is an e-mail (unedited) sent by Razaque

This is slightly belated, but cannot disappoint Rohini Ana as she was very keen to hear about  the 'incidents' that took place in my recent hospitalisation. It appears that they seem to follow me around!!

Anyway at a rather 'turbulent' period in our Blog, what... with all that Dosa & Vadai dialogue that went on and of course the jubilation of reaching the milestone of a MILLION posts on the Blog, let me say 'BIG THANK YOU' to you for all your untiring  efforts and to all the participants in these 7 years or so for their contribution, without which it could not have achieved so  much success. One moment to those shunned or who were indifferent to participate in this Forum..... "You do not, nor will ever know WHAT YOU HAVE MISSED OUT ON?".

Now for the main item of my hospital 'experience'. You all know that I was admitted to hospital as an emergency on 3 occasions within a few days. When I was admitted with my 'so called chest pain', it was an Irish student nurse who documented initial details. At one point she asked me "Do you live with your wife?" To which I replied with mischief "Yes... with my first wife". She was taken aback. Of course there were other nurses and docs & students who were 'eavesdropping' looked at me with some concern. The female Registrar smiling asked me "How many?" To which I replied "only one"...  relief to some & 'disappointment' to others who wanted to know more of the sordid details. Then I was asked why I said 'lived with my first wife?'. To which I replied "I have only one wife --- only the first one, and I was not telling a lie, was I ??" There was laughter and that 'broke the ice'.
I was then transferred from A&E to the short-stay Acute Medical Ward that had 8 bays with 6 patients in each. It was only then that I realised that it was an Uni-Sex ward!!!... lucky me!! I also realised that I was the only male in that bay...... 'the only COCK in the HEN coop'!!! .....By the way the term 'HEN' is an endearing term in Scotland for the female of the species, although 'COCK' does not refer to males!!! As night fell the two beds on either side of me fell vacant (either discharged or sent to Specialist wards). There were all types of monitoring devices bleeping away, but that did not bother me as the 2 beds next to me were now occupied by two more women of 'ginormous' proportions that I had very rarely seen ever before!! When it was time to sleep and the lights dimmed & curtains round the beds closed 'IT' began. Noises from both sides like 'staccato machine gun fire' ...  volley after volley!!.... they both were FARTING away merrily. I was kept awake by this. Then there was some activity in isle as nurses were talking to the two  ladies. Then the 'machine gun fire' stopped and after awhile there was some 'hissing' sounds. Thought the these ladies had gone into the 'slow release' mode??.
I managed to get some sleep only to be woken up by the nurse come to check  my BP / Blood sugar levels.
I told the nurse "There was some excitement last night & I could not sleep due to the  sound of passing wind by two patients. I suppose other patients may had complained??" She said "NO, it was not the sound but the SMELL,we had to spray the place with odour elliminators "!!. I said " That explains those 'hissing' noises but have lost my sense of smell some time back & I suppose I was lucky, but I unfortunately I had my hearing aid on"....... We had a laugh, ---- to put it lightly!!!. 
Next time....., there will be no next time & will be no follow-ups either as I may be gone for GOOD!!!.
Please pray for me for a "safe journey" to wherever ???

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Creative Spot by Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale (New version of Pinsidu Wanney)

Please note the following e-mail from Speedy:

Mahendra Gonsalkorale

16:35 (18 minutes ago)
to me
Dear Lucky,

I am grateful to you for posting the first version on our "Millionaire" Blog!
The value to me has been the feedback, both through the blog and via email and I have revised it accordingly and redone it. I hope it is a better version now.

If you agree, you can post it on the Blog with my email note on how this came about.

Very best wishes,