In collaboration with the STEAM magazine and international women’s day on 8th March, the following article brings light to a huge scientific breakthrough for cancer research led by a female scientist.
Dr Eva Ramon Gallegos, a Mexican scientist from the National Polytechnic Institute, and her primarily female team (pictured left) have reportedly found a complete cure for human papillomavirus (HPV). The cure would help to prevent the spread of cervical cancer and Dr Ramon Gallegos claims to have eliminated the virus in 29 patients infected with HPV which is an outstanding achievement regarding the fact that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world and is becoming a leading course of deaths among female cancer patients.
A report states that a team of researchers led by Dr Ramon Gallegos treated the 29 patients diagnosed with HPV with non-invasive photodynamic therapy (PDT) which “is a treatment that involves using a drug, called a photosensitizer or photosensitizing agent, and a particular type of light to treat different areas of the body” according to their report.
Dr Ramon Gallegos has been researching the effects of PDT for over 20 years to cure cancers such as breast and melanoma. She treated 420 patients in Oaxaca and Veracruz, in addition to 29 HPV patients in Mexico with PTD, which had promising results as PTD was able to eradicate the virus in the patients.
The treatment was 64.3% successful in women with both HPV and lesions but eradicates 100% of those tested who carried HPV without premalignant lesions of cervical cancer.
Moreover, what makes this accomplishment more impressive is that the treatment has no side effects and does no damage to the body at all.
“Unlike other treatments, it only eliminates damaged cells and does not affect healthy structures. Therefore, it has great potential to decrease the death rate from cervical cancer,” – Dr Ramon Gallegos, Radio Guama report.
For more information you can visit; https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181218100404.htm
By Kashmea Wahi
Every year, I always buy a Marie Curie daffodil, usually from one of the volunteers outside Marks and Spencer’s Simply Food in Pinner. As the Great Daffodil Appeal 2019 is soon approaching (March 1- March 31), I started thinking about this article. In light of International Women’s Week around the corner, let me tell you about the amazing lady behind this worthwhile charity: Marie Curie herself.
Born Maria Salomea Sklodowska in Poland 1867, she was introduced to science by her parents who were both teachers. At the time when she was growing up, the government were very strict about what people could and could not study. They imposed a law that girls were not allowed to go to college at all! Marie and her sister went to a secret school, but were constantly tired of hiding from who they truly were and what they wanted to achieve. A talented student, Curie moved to Paris in 1891 to study physics and mathematics. During her time, science was a male domain, but Curie did not let her gender hold her back. She devoted her entire life to the subject, marrying French physicist Pierre Curie along her journey as well.
In my opinion, Marie Curie was an incredibly brave and intelligent pioneer, who helped save so many lives, millions in fact, during World War 1 and all the way to the present day. She discovered two new elements, polonium and radium, which she found could help treat diseases such as cancer. In 1903, her incredible work was noticed, and she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. However, years of being exposed to radiation led to her premature death in 1934, which was an historic but unfortunate event in time. Amazingly, her legacy is still continued by the Marie Curie Organization, who rely on donations to send nurses out to care for people with cancer in their own homes, even during the dark hours of night. It is so important that we support causes, such as this one, because many people would not be living today, if it was not for the intelligence and bravery of Curie all those years ago. Her early career treatment discoveries 100 years ago, has paved the way for new and developing treatments for cancer today.
This is why I always feel a sense of pride, wearing my daffodil every year. It inspires me to keep believing that women can do anything they want to, if they just work hard and keep going.
So the next time you see a Marie Curie volunteer selling daffodil pins, put £1 in their collection box and by a daffodil: it really is an altruistic and worthwhile cause to support, and you might just make a difference to one persons’ life.
By Priya Modi, 8N