big lizards to astrocytomas
Peter Cala's name to the list of people who have never had cancer
but who nonetheless have felt its wounding presence.
UC Davis physiologist and basic science researcher lost a friend
and mentor to brain cancer in August 1998. Now, his quest to understand
the relationship between ion transport and cell metabolism has taken
on a personal tenor.
J. Mandel, a professor of physiology at the Duke University Medical
Center, died of an astrocytoma, a type of glioma that affects cells
known as astrocytes. "He had an inoperable tumor," says
Cala, who completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University
under Mandel's sponsorship. "He was only 58."
tumors are among the most lethal and difficult cancers to treat.
They're seldom diagnosed until they have grown to an advanced state,
and their location makes surgery problematic. And they're on the
rise. For reasons scientists can't explain, the number of brain
tumors being diagnosed annually have doubled in the last 10 years,
from 50,000 to 100,000.
20 percent of brain tumors are primary tumors; the rest are secondary
(metastatic) growths seeded by cancer cells floating in the bloodstream.
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