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September 10, 1981 - Image 19

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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The Michigan Daily--Thursday, September 10, 1981-Page 19
NEW TREA TMENT FOR LI VER, BR AIN TUMORS

'U' makes cancer break

By LOU FINTOR
University researchers have unveiled
new methods of diagnosing and treating
often deadly forms of cancer-methods
which may hold promise for thousands
of terminally ill patients.
The preliminary results of a new drug
delivery system for treating liver
tumors were recently announced by Dr.
William Ensminger, associate
professor of Internal Medicine at the
University Medical School.
THE MAIN FEATURE of the system
is an "infusion pump," originally
developed to introduce blood thinning
agents into the bloodstream, that has
been adapted for use by Ensminger for
therapy of cancerous liver tumors in
terminal patients.
"In about 85 percent of the cases, the
tumors are significantly reduced. This
method enables us to extend life expec-
tancy from about four to six months to
beyond two years," he said, noting that
untreated cancer has a very rapid
growth rate in the liver.
Ensminger predicted that in five
years the pump technique, coupled with
radiation therapies and alternative
chemotherapies, might represent a
true "cure" for cancer of the liver.
OTHER PRELIMINARY results
have also shown promise for pump use
in treating certain brain and central
nervous system tumors.

ACCORDING TO recent studies,
seven patients with incurable CNS can-
cer underwent pump implantations in
which a chemotherapeutic drug was
delivered directly into the brain. After
comprehensive testing, four showed
"significant regression" of their
tumors, three exhibited a 25 percent
reduction in tumor size, and one-with
meningeal lymphoma and paralysis of
the right leg-experienced a complete
clearing of CSF tumors for 14 months.
ACCORDING TO Niederhuber, the
University researchers are currently
working with three other in-
stitutions-the University of Chicago,
the University of Alabama, and the
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in
New York--to begin the implemen-
tation of more pump implantation
programs.
Despite many obstacles, Niederhuber
maintains that approximately 85 per-
cent of the patients afflicted with liver
cancers respond to therapy and most
return home to lead active lives.
"I think it will prove to be a viable
way of treating patients,'' said
Niederhuber, "but it takes a well
organized program and a dedicated
staff to manage something of this
magnitude."
University medical researchers an-
nounced another breakthrough recently
in the battle against cancer with the

discovery and development of a new
radioactive compound which can
detect-for the first time-potentially
lethal tumors and has also proven ef-
fective in diagnosing many heart
ailments.
Laced with a weak tracer dose of
radioactive iodine, the new compound
has been found 100 percent effective in
the diagnosis of tiny tumors in the.
body's adrenaline-producing tissues.
IT IS ESTIMATED that between
100,000 and 200,000 Americans are
stricken with the tumors, and that 90
percent are located in the central core
of the adrenal glands, with the other 10
percent developing on sympathetic
nerves in other parts of the body.
The new compound, called "131-I
meta-iodobenzylguanidine," was syn-
thesized by organic chemist Dr. Donald
Wieland, head of research and
development in nuclear pharmacy at
the University's division of nuclear
medicine.
According to Wieland, the compound
can specifically detect
pheochromocytomas-tiny tumors that
when triggered by routing stress during
simple surgery, produce surges of
adrenaline-type hormones which can
overstimulate the cardiovascular
system, resulting in death.
THE COMPOUND CAN identify

through
these previously undetected growths
simply by being injected into a vein,
then "imaging' or scanning the body
with a radiation registering device.
The current method of diagnosis in-
volves making a long incision .and
manually manipulating suspicious
growths until the tumors are found,
which Wieland described as like "fin-
ding a needle in a haystack."
The chemist maintained that less
noted is the compound's value in
diagnosing many heart ailments-in-
cluding hypertension-but while results
pertaining to this application are only
preliminary, they look extremely
promising.
DR. WILLIAM Beierwaltes, head of
the nuclear medicine division of the
University Department of Internal
Medicine, said that the compound may
even have a further application-the
treatment of malignant tumors in the 10
percent of patients who can't be cured
through surgery.
By the use of multiple radioactive
tracer scans in which different agents
"image" major organs such as the
heart, liver, lungs, or kidneys, Univer-
sity nuclear medicine specialists have
been able to provide surgeons with the
location of pheochromocytomas within
about a quarter of an inch."

Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
Rail-hopping
Punning ahead for impending Amtrak cuts, Henry Pates of Ann Arbor tests
a revolutionary travel mode.

Tickets issued to bike violators

NOW OPE

(Continued from Page 17)
"I FEEL at least they could have
given me one warning," Ellison added,
"How can they justify charging so
much money? They at least should
bring the amount in line with the offen-
se."
Both the police and Pendleton
stressed that the motivation behind the
ticketing is to make bicyclists become
aware of riding safely, not to harass
them. Pendleton said that after the
majority of bicyclists start riding
carefully and obeying the laws, the

ticketing can be "saved for the
recalcitrant, argumentative person"
who refuses to obey the traffic laws.
The bicycle safety problem in Ann
Arbor is not solely the fault of the
bicyclist, according to Pendleton and
police. As a bicyclist himself, Willard
said, "You start to appreciate how
motorists don't watch for bicyclists."
THE FINAL prerequisite for biking
on campus is to have a good case-
hardened lock and chain; owners can
be sure their bicycles will be stolen if

they are not locked. There are plenty of
parking racks dotted around the cam-
pus. But if a bike is locked to a tree or a
handicapped ramp railing, the police
may come along, clip the chain, and
impound the bicycle.
The dormitories do not allow students
to keep bikes in the rooms, so a bicycle
must be kept at the parking racks out-
side the dorm.
Pendleton said Ann Arbor bicyclists
receive many benefits from their $2.50
registration fees. A registered bike can

be returned if it is stolen and recovered
by police.
Free bicycle maintenance workshops
are held every Saturday at the Far-
mer's Market at Detroit and Catherine
Streets, and free maps of Ann Arbor
and safety brochures are also
available.
The bicycle coordinator's office
builds and maintains city bike lanes
and parking racks. Information about
guided bike tours is provided by the of-
fice on the fourth floor of City Hall.

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NOTICE
Since the time that the University Musical Society an-
nounced their season of concerts, printed on page 3-F
of this issue of the Michigan Daily, the Feld Ballet has
had to cancel their Ann Arbor appearance. The re-
mainder of the Choice Series concerts are not changed.

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