Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stopping bad stem cells could block deadly cancers

Dr. Bruce Hensel: courtesy
As a former TV journalist who specialized in covering health and medical news I have long lamented the fact that there are fewer and fewer specialist health reporters in TV today, and even fewer who are doing really good in-depth stories. Happily NBC TV news in Los Angeles has Dr. Bruce Hensel, a veteran reporter who continues to do high quality reporting on complex topics.

One recent example, and here’s why it caught my eye, is the piece he did on some promising research being done by Dr. Dennis Slamon and his team at UCLA. (they have two Disease Team awards from us) They are looking at, as Dr. Hensel put it: “at how they can block bad stem cells that may lead to fatal cancers.” The team hope to start clinical trials on this therapy in the next few months. We are funding that work.

 It was a long and detailed report, by local TV news standards, with a lot of depth and a great deal of care in not raising hopes too high.

We often talk about the importance of new media and social media in reaching a new and wider audience, but this story is an example that if you want to reach a lot of people all at once, there is still no substitute for TV news.

Of course, I might be biased.

kevin mccormack

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