2 -The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 15, 1994
breast cancer gene
Los Angeles Times
Utah researchers have identified
the defective gene believed to cause
about half of all inherited cases of
breast cancer, a discovery that should
make it possible within a year to iden-
tify the estimated 600,000 U.S.
women who carry the gene.
These women have an 85 percent
risk of developing breast cancer by
age 65 and an unusually high risk of
developing ovarian cancer. Identify-
ing the women at risk could save
many lives by allowing intensive
monitoring and early detection of the
tumors, which substantially increases
:he cure rate.
The discovery is the result of a
massive effort triggered four years
ago when geneticist Mary-Claire King
of the University of California, Ber-
keley, showed that the gene, com-
monly called BRCA1, is located on a
small region of chromosome 17, one
of the 23 pairs of chromosomes that
contain every person's genetic blue-
print. The race to locate the gene was
ultimately won by a team of more
than 45 scientists headed by geneti-
cist Mark H. Skolnick of the Univer-
sity of Utah and Myriad Genetics,
Inc. of Salt Lake City.
Another team has also identified
the approximate location of a second
gene, BRCA2, that is believed re-
sponsible for most of the remaining
cases of inherited breast cancer in
women, possibly many sporadic
The discover of BRCA1 is a "ma-
jor advance (that) will enable us to
identify women, particularly younger
women, who have an increased risk
of developing breast cancer," said
molecular biologist Harold Varmus,
director of the National Institutes of
Perhaps even more important,
however, will be the new understand-
ing the genes provide about how breast
cancer occurs, according to Dr.
Harmon Eyre, chief medical officer
of the American Cancer Society.
"We actually know very little
about what causes breast cancer," Eyre
said. "This is a real first step in getting
to the bottom of what it is all about."
Breast cancer activists were de-
lighted by the discovery, particularly
because of its potential implications
for understanding the biology of the
disease, said Michelle Rakoff, co-
chair of the Los Angeles Breast Can-
cer Alliance. "What we have now is
early detection," she said. "What we
really want is prevention, and for that
we need to know what causes it."
Campaign rhetoric heats .
up as election approaches
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He said that despite the $6.4 mil-
lion appropriation, the 2.3-percent
increase in state funding does not
reflect University needs.
"While the additional funds sig-
nificantly helped and tuition would
have been higher than it is without the
increase, the funding increase is not
near the rate of inflation," Womack
University regents raised tuition
6.9 percent for in-state students and 5
percent for out-of-state students this
year, compared to an inflation rate of
less than 3.5 percent.
However, this year's tuition in-
crease is lower than last year's 9.8-
percent boost and the 9.9-percept in-
crease two years ago. In each of those
years, state funding did not increase.
McNulty said five colleges, which
include Central Michigan, Eastern
Michigan, Grand Valley State and the
University of Michigan's Dearborn
and Flint branches, each recieved in-
creases ofup to 17.5 percent, consid-
erably higher than here.
"The higher funding is justified in
that it was used to equalize the level
of funding at all of the 15 colleges and
universities in the state," McNulty
said. "Over the past few years, enroll-
ment at those schools has been rising
steadily and no adjustment was made
"State aid needed to be adjusted to
reflect the needs of these schools
which have had historically low lev-
els of funding."
attacks Carr 's
LANSING (AP) -The campaign
of GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Spencer
Abraham stepped up its attack on
Democrat Bob Carr yesterday.
Abraham's campaign manager criti-
cized the 18-year U.S. House mem-
ber for taking 65 free trips over the
past five years.
"We think this is an illustration of
what's wrong with Washington,
D.C.," Mike Hudome said at a news
conference outside a travel agency.
"He's (Carr) been part of the prob-
lem, not part of the solution since
1974." Carr was first elected to the
House in 1974 and has served there
for 18 of the past 20 years.
Hudome contended the trips and
donations from political action com-
mittees showed that special interests
were trying to buy influence with the
East Lansing Democrat. "PAC money
plus a vacation equals a good vote.
They know that," he said.
Carr campaign spokeswoman
Marsha McVicker said most of the
trips that Carr took were for chari-
table functions. She added that Carr
has sponsored a resolution to change
House rules to require committee
heads to hold a public vote on resolu-
tions authorizing the taxpayer-funded
travel of two or more people.
She also strongly rejected the no-
tion that Carr's vote could be bought.
She pointed out that as the transporta-
tion subcommitteechairmanon House
Appropriations, Carr had put in a sys-
tem that funds transportation projects
based on their merits and not on who
supported them and their clout.
She said the White House has since
adopted the approch.
"That's a huge victory for the hard-
woring men and women of this state
so their money is spent wisely."
McVicker mounted her own at-
tack on Abraham's efforts to paint
Carr as a liberal Washington insider.
"This is a beauty of an example of
what the people of Michigan are sick
and tired of. Partisan bickering, slash-
and-burn tactics," she said. "Spence
Abraham stands for more partisan
bickering and more gridlock and Bob
Carr stands for progress.
"I think their argument is moot
here because of Bob's record. Spence
Abraham's only record has been as a
political hack behind the scenes play-
ing partisan politics. Bob Carr has a
record of working hard for the men
and women of this state."
Abraham is a former chairman of
the Michigan Republican Party and
also served as a vice aide to former
Vice President Dan Quayle.
Still, Hudome said it would be
hard forhard-working Michigan fami-
lies, who save all year to take one
vacation, to understand why Carr
would average more than one free trip
a month to places such as Arizona and
He said Abraham wouldn't take
such trips, if elected.
"Spence Abraham stands for
change and wants to shake up the
status quo in Washington and Bob
Carr stands for everything that's
wrong in Washington," he said.
Meanwhile, Carr announced yes-
terday in Detroit that he picked up the
endorsement from a major law-en-
forcement group, the Police Officers
Association of Michigan.
GOP blasts Wolpe for anti
Engler mental health ads
Thurs. Sept. 15 3--5 p.m.
Next to Union
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LANSING (AP) - State Repub-
licans are calling unfair a Democratic
ad that blames the death of a former
patient at Lafayette Clinic in Detroit
on the clinic's closing.
Cathy Stokes died in March 1993,
five months after she was removed
from the mental health clinic. But Dr.
Tom Sullivan, who was clinical di-
rector at Lafayette, said Stokes was
near to being discharged before the
clinic was closed.
Her death part of a campaign ad
criticizing the mental health policies
of Republican Gov. John Engler. Re-
publicans say the ad, created by the
Democratic Party on behalf of chal-
lenger Howard Wolpe, unfairly im-
plicates Engler in Stokes' death.
Lafayette closed in October 1992
as part of massive budget cuts or-
dered by Engler. Stokes was trans-
ferred to Northville Regional Psychi-
atric hospital, where she spent a couple
of weeks. She was moved to a Detroit
area group home, where she broke her
leg. She was on high doses of a schizo-
phrenia drug, Clozaoine, The Detroit
News reported yesterday.
Stokes died at Wyandotte General
Hospital. The medical examiner said
Stokes died from a seizure disorder
and a toxic level of Clozaoine.
Patients on Clozaoine need close
monitoring, Sullivan said. "I don't
think this would have happened if she
was still at Lafayette," Stokes said.
Engler's mental health officials
"All of our institutions provide
the same treatment she could have
gotten at Lafayette," said Dr. Hubert
Carbone, director of psychiatric ser-
vices for the Mental Health Depart-
ment. "She had done well at Northville
and was moved to a group home;
which is standard practice.
"She fell and broke her leg, which
could have happened to anyone."
Her sister, Lori Stokes-Pate dfd
Taylor, is featured in the Democratic
campaign ad as saying: "Within
months after Gov. Engler closed the
clinic, she died."
"I've never said I blame John
Engler directly for Cathy's death. f
don't," Stokes-Pate told the News o1f
"But his policies laid the ground-
work for many, many tragedies, in-
cluding this one."
State Mental Health Directdr
James Haveman said there was "no
relationship between Cathy Stokes'
death and her removal from Lafayette
"Lori Stokes-Pate is an incredibly
potent symbol of John Engler's in-
sensitivity," said Ken Brook, Wolpe's
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