Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For All of Those Curious About Cancer Research Spending

So, I've often wondered what the breakdown is, from the top disease research organizations. I'm sure some of you have as well. Well, today we're taking a look at two of the most respected and also two of the biggest spenders. If you're wondering what they are, they're the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen.
Here is the breakdown of their program expenses.

Research - 17%
Prevention - 25%
Detection/Treatment - 21%
Patient Support - 37%

While the research consists of only a paltry 17%, you have to remember that that is only for the actual cure and newer treatments. Prevention is in some people's eyes, more important because you never get the diseases in the first place. Also, the actual detection and treatments along with the support you receive while being treated are keys that round out the entire process from prevention through treatment. Hopefully, one day these diseases will be ultimately cured and prevention and treatment and heartache and financial burdens can at least cease for millions of people.

To see more information:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Funding Cuts Not Just Limited to Disease Research

Other non-profits are hurting too in this economic downturn and not just in the area of disease research. In the valley area of Arizona for instance, cities like Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, and Surprise are all cutting back on their funding of various non-profits. For instance, Gilbert has cut back 40% on funding to areas such as food banks and homeless shelters. Scottsdale decreased their funding for shelters from 50 to 54%.

The reasons cited generally are from funding issues related to less overall governmental income due to a slowing economy, yet there are some that are making it a political statement. Some are stating that it isn't right to take money from one person and then give it to another, as would be the case of taking tax money and then giving it to a charity. Although, some would argue this is not unworthy giving, as those that are the recipients are in real need. Especially if those in need are homeless and living in a shelter. These would be considered "gifts" without any recompense.

Read more about funding crises here:

Friday, December 23, 2011

New Drug May Be the Answer to Duchenne

Duchenne, a type of muscular dystrophy, may be the target of a new drug that is set to be manufactured and begun in phase 1 clinical trials.

Summit Corporation plc has secured 1 million pounds, or 1.5 million U.S. dollars from various charities to begin manufacturing the drug. The drug SMT C1100 basically increases a natural protein called Utrophin in the body which researchers believe will compensate for the lack of another similar structural compound, Dystrophin.

Mice trials showed that this new drug led to increased muscle strength and less tired muscles. Initial phase 1 trials showed a lack of full absorption into the blood stream, but the drug has been reformulated and is set for further phase 1 trials in the near future. A bright spot for those with Duchenne and possibly Becker muscular dystrophy they hope as well.

Article here:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some Tips to Donating for Disease Research

Today instead of looking at advances in technology or actual funding numbers, I thought I'd share with you a couple of pointers to look for when donating, since this is what we're in it for. We're in it to help and that comes through donations and while many claim that they're here to help, some are simply better than others. Here we go:

1) Try to find a charity that spends at least 75% on program expenses. This means that they're actually putting the money where they promise - the actual disease research. You might ask why not more. Well, simply, there are overhead expenses when paying for their offices and staff, etc. The 75% means that they're putting more money into the actual research and the researchers that conduct that research.

2) To reference the last point, you should also look for administrative expenses, the overhead and such, to be less than 15%. This leaves about 10% to go towards advertising and miscellaneous expenses.

The National Institute of Philanthropy and the Charity Navigator are two that are good to use to get the actual data on the programs expenses.

Read More:,,20235965_1,00.html

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looking Back: Best Advances in Heart Disease Research 2010

Today, we're going to take a different look at medical advances. We're going to go back almost a year to what has transpired in research on Heart Disease. Here is a top five look from 2010:

1) Tailored treatment for those with diabetes (While not the same disease, those with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease. 2 to 4 times higher in fact.)
2) Alternatives for those with aortic blockage such as the transcatheter aortic valve implantation or TAVI for short.
3) Reducing stroke risk in atrial fibrillation.
4) Updating the CPR guidelines to help save those before help can arrive.
5) New shunts, or catheter type balloons, for infants born with congenital heart disease.

For further reading:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Neurons Implanted Can Become Brain Cells

Scientists in Wisconsin have discovered a way to use stem cells, grown outside of the body, and then implanted to become fully functioning brain neuronal cells. These cells then integrate into the functioning electrical impulses that neurons are responsible for. You see, neurons are what control all of our electrical functioning and control everything from neurotransmitters with a host of functions such as serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, etc., to movement and many other functions. Everything we do takes neuronal functioning.

The way they stimulate these is also new in that light is used rather than just an electrical current. They are also stating that in the future, they will be able to not only transplant grown brain neurons, but any other cell of the 220 types of human tissue. This obviously is great news as Parkinsons and A.L.S., Lou Gehrig's Disease, can be treated with this therapy method. Also the ability to graft new cells without taking tissue from another area of the body is also a possibility. This also gives rise to the ability to use light based stimulation technology called optogenetics on transplanted cells.

Read more here:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Synthetic Molecules That Promote Neuronal Growth. Science Fiction?

No it's science fact. Researchers at Northwestern University have developed actual synthetic molecules that promote neuronal growth and could lead to a reversal of damage in spinal cord injuries.

Nanofibers help neuron growth by allowing an abundance of amino acids known to help progenitor cells turn into neuronal cells. Progenitor cells care young cells that can turn into other cells through catalysts such as amino acids and gene triggers. Without these nanofibers, these progenitor cells generally turn into astrocyte cells that lead to scar tissue that can and usually prevents new neuronal growth.

Here is the article:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Findings May Help Researchers in the Fight Against M.S.

It was once thought that Multiple Sclerosis began in the inner brain and traveled outward to the cortex, or outer layer, but researchers in Minnesota have found that the disease may actually work the other way around, going inward. This new finding may lead to unlocking the mystery that is finding a cure for M.S. This will also lead to better therapeutic options which at times, ignore the cortex. They also support that the disease is of inflammation rather than neurodegeneration.

Read about the actual research here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Could Something in Plastics Hold a Link to Some Breast Cancers?

You drink that water out of a plastic bottle while you open up the wrapping of your lunch. There's not much time left on your lunch break with so much going on. Could what you just did actually be more harmful to you than say, the afternoon commute home everyday? Researchers at UCLA are trying to figure that out.

Bisphenol A, or B.P.A., has been linked to cancer in animal studies and now UCLA is getting a $450,000 grant from Susan G. Komen to study whether this chemical found in plastic water bottles and food packaging, amongst other things, increases one's risk for breast cancer.

This new move is part of the planned $66 million in new research, patient support, and scientific conferences Susan G. Komen is spending this year. Since 1982, Susan G. Komen has invested a gross amount of $685 million in breast cancer research, making them the largest breast cancer organization in the world.

Read further here:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Requests for Funding on the Rise, Despite Actual Funding Decreases

Scientists have put in an additional 33% increase in the number of grants they have applied for in Alzheimer's research to the American Health Assistance Foundation, in the face of impending lacking in national funding. The AHAF is a non-profit organization that funds innovative research in the area of Alzheimer's Disease.

Due to the deadlock in Congress on how to best handle funding to lower the national budget deficit, funding to the NIH and then onto other areas has been lacking in recent months. Currently 5.4 million people suffer from Alzheimer's  with that number expected to triple over the next 30 years. With so many people expected to develop the debilitating disease, this could be a major issue on the health care system, something Congress might think about addressing as this could completely hinder the system in the future.

Here's the article:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Too Much of Anything is a Bad Thing

We've all heard this before. Taking too much or doing too much of anything is a bad thing. Seems pretty common sense. Well, researchers have just discovered that the once beneficial regimen of selenium and vitamin E are a bad thing. Vitamin E more precisely.

Researchers have found that men taking extra Vitamin E to the tune of 400 I.U. a day causes an increased risk of prostate cancer. While only 17% increase in risk may not sound like much, it's still statistically significant. It was once thought that taking selenium and vitamin E to supplement the vitamin E you already get in your diet would prevent some forms of cancer. Now researchers are saying that may not be such a good thing for men. This is kind of one of those, 'what can help you in one way can possibly hamper you in another.'

Here's the article:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

You Are More Likely to Develop the Same Cancer Again

The only thing worse than being told that you have developed cancer again after you have been diagnosed cancer free or in remission, is being told you have the same type of cancer as the one that you have just beaten. Researchers in a study in Denmark have found that the incidence of getting the same cancer type is almost twice as high as getting another type of cancer. This especially applies to cancer associated with tobacco such as gum, lung, and others. They didn't mention the fact that a remission only means that the cancer could come back, but the data was probably from those that were cancer free although I cannot speculate as to that.

Here is the article:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Medicine Has Come a Long Way in the Last 10 Years

Today, I'm doing something a bit different. Instead of look at what's been happening rather recently in medical developments and funding, we're going to take a look at what has been developed in the last, almost 11 years. Since 2000, there have been some great discoveries. Some have immediate applications, while others promise to have many utilizations. Let's take a quick look, shall we?

In 2000, both the government funded, Human Genome Project and the privately funded, Celera Genomics came out with a rough draft of our human genome. This is the map of all of our genes as humans. With this discovery, much is possible. Not only can they see what each gene possibly does, they can also find ways to cure disease and increase health and lifespan with certain genes.

While not a breakthrough, anti-smoking laws and bans have increased the air quality in certain spaces and businesses, which should lead to healthier lungs and less incidence of lung cancer, or so the laws are intended. Also, increase information sharing between doctors may lead to increased awareness of disease and quicker patient look-up on their records.

Heart disease deaths have decreased a dramatic 40% since a quarter century ago. The reason is better medication, better procedures, and more knowledge. Now, they can destroy blood clots, the reason for the heart attack or stroke, with medications they didn't have before. They also have stints and other surgeries designed to give you a better chance of dealing with heart disease or cure it altogether, depending on your condition.

While stem cells from embryos has fueled controversy and has been suspended and in some places, rescinded, stem cell research from people such as children and adults has helped in finding ways to combat various diseases. This will remain a hotbed of research for some time to come.

Herceptin and Gleevec are two newer cancer medications that have helped many people survive cancer and have opened the door to newer technology in the anti-cancer drug arena.

The therapy used to extend those with HIV/AIDS lives has also paved the way for other treatments such as lung cancer and heart disease.

Robotics for surgery has made surgery less invasive and more precise. Things you only dreamed of when watching television and movies over a decade ago, have become more prevalent and are now reality in some places. More to come in the near future.

While Hormone Replacement Therapy, widely used prior to 2003 for menopause, has been discovered recently to lead to breast cancer and other maladies, the good news is that it also has been shown to lower bone fractures and prevent certain cancers such as colorectal. While this seems to be the case many times where one thing hurts you here but helps you here, there is positive to all of this. By recognizing the aspects that help, researchers and doctors will be able to isolate and utilize the helpful abilities of these therapies for prevention.

Finally, functional MRI's, aka fMRI, have been developed to not only advance psychology, but also to gather much information such as brain cancer, autism, memory disorders, and even psoriasis, a skin condition.

For further reading, here you go:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great Sports Legends Dinner Raises $10 Million for Paralysis

The Great Sports Legends Dinner hosted back in September helped to raise $10M for the Buoniconti Fund to help cure paralysis. It was hosted by Nike and the spotlight celebrity, although not a sports legend but a legend of a different kind, dazzled the crowd. We're talking of Diana Ross here. It is held each year at New York's famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The M.C. was well known Bob Costas and the Humanitarian Award went to Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice. There were more celebrities and pro athletes than can be named, but the point was that they were all there to show their support both physically and financially for curing paralysis.

Read more about the story here:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scientist and Chairman of Scripps wins Nobel Award

Bruce Beutler, who is the chair of the Scripps Institute's Research Department in Genetics has won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He is just one of many on the Scripps staff and board that have won the Nobel Prize. Another reason that they are on the cutting edge of technology and development and a pivotal key in the fight against diseases and finding their cures.

Here is the article:

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Website coming

I didn't post much last week, but that was because I have been meeting with people about a new website. Part of what we do is to raise awareness for disease research and the breakthroughs in the research field. However, the other part is that we take help raise donations to various disease research to help them find a cure. Hopefully, we shall have a new website for donations within the near, foreseeable future. In the meantime, though, we shall keep watch for new developments and information on the state of donations and funding for disease research.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Projections for Funding in Research Look Promising

The projections for fiscal year 2012 look promising as the National Institute of Health (NIH) have issued their projections and past funding data dating back to 2007 in lieu of Congress's increased transparency on funding to the public. While the numbers do not show the breakdown of funding within each category of disease such as where the money is coming from in funding cancer, it at least gives a breakdown by disease so that we, as the everyday person can see overall figures. The numbers are in millions and are rounded and they also seem to contradict what the NIH had stated before that funding was predicted to be cut in the coming years. I guess we shall have to wait and see.

Here is the article:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mayo Clinic Researchers Link 2 Genes to M.S. Therapy

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have linked 2 genes that could prove pivotal in therapy for treating multiple sclerosis. This differs from many studies that have only looked at which people get m.s. and why we get the disease, rather than an actual treatment. While still in the early phases and so far limited to studies on mice genomes, this is a great start into locating our own genes as humans.

Here is the article:

Cancer Survivor to Ride Almost 200 Miles for Cancer Cure

Ricky Rinehart is planning on riding almost 200 miles, 197 to be exact, from Yuma, AZ to Phoenix, AZ to raise money for curing cancer. He is celebrating his one year anniversary since doctors successfully operated on his esophageal cancer. It's people like Ricky that give us all hope for the future. We need to follow his lead and raise money for the cure, not just for cancer, but for other diseases as well. We wish you all the best Ricky Rinehart.

Here is the article:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Celebs Get In On the Action at MDA event

The Muscular Dystrophy Association hosted a televised event that featured many different singing celebrities such as Celine Dion, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, J-Lo, Jordin Sparks, Martina McBride, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson to name a few. It was to raise money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy and other muscle degenerative diseases. It's part of their 'Make a Muscle, Make a Difference' campaign.

Here is the article:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Susan G Komen doing their part for St. Louis

St. Louis is the beneficiary of three quarters of a million dollars in funding to help African American women living in the city in prevention of breast cancer. They realized that African American women were dying at a higher rate compared to other women in St. Louis so they decided to step in and help to preserve some valuable lives. This again shows that Susan G. Komen is dedicated to helping all survive breast cancer and end its ill effects.

Here is the link:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scripps Research Institute at it again

The Scripps Research Institute has recently found some anti-cancer compounds with researchers at M.I.T. These findings were published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences," earlier this year in March. If these are truly as good as we hope, this could lead to a cure in the not too distant future. Here is the article for your perusing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Funding being cut even more

Here is another article stating that funding is low and that to get funding for certain disease research, they might have to take from the budget of other areas.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Help Find a Cure

Hello everyone. Every year millions are affected by debilitating and harsh diseases such as breast cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Others are affected either through disease or from accidents and develop paralysis. As of this date, none have been cured and a cure could still be a long way off. But fret not, researchers are working diligently to find cures for these diseases and conditions. The biggest drawback is in the funding. It is reported from the head of the National Institute of Health, or N.I.H., that funding could reach an all time low. This is where individuals like you can come in and take up the cause, whether through fundraisers or just in donating. 

One way we want to help is through donations to various disease research and development facilities and organizations that are on the cutting edge toward finding a cure. Our non-profit company, Candlelight Foundation Incl, uses only these types of research institutes that receive mostly funding from private donations toward finding a cure. We are called Candlelight Foundation because candles provide light just as there is a light at the end of the tunnel of hope for finding these cures. With your help, we can all do our part. The proceeds go to these very research and development institutes. Visitors can choose which disease research that their proceeds will go to. Almost everyone has either known someone, had someone a friend has known, or even themselves has been afflicted by one of these diseases or conditions.

The point of this blog is to increase awareness as well as to help raise funds to help find a cure. At Candlelight Foundation Inc., we believe in finding cures. That's why a motto of ours is For the Cure. Feel free to browse our site or just post on this blog any concerns or thoughts that you have in this area of disease research as well as any personal experiences you may have that you feel free to share. Everyone is welcome and none will be discriminated against. Please keep the responses on point and absolutely DO NOT chide or berate anyone else's posts. Thank you, Justin Roth.