Jul

19

Med Center Student Researching His Own Cancer

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If the end of the weekend’s got you down, pick up those spirits with the following story from the Chicago Tribune. Last December, after being urged to get a neurological scan by his mother, the 23-year-old received the results: he had glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain tumor (median survival: just over a year), and exceedingly rare in the young.

Rather than resign himself, though, Lukac went back to Northwestern (where he had received the prognosis) and its Brain Tumor Research. Director Marcus Bredel took him on as an assistant researcher, and “for the last few months Lukac has helped conduct many of the experiments that one day could lead to breakthroughs in treating his disease.” And now, his lab has “identified 31 genes key to the formation of glioblastoma tumors,” a crucial advance in discovering treatments for the cancer.

Bredel commented, “I don’t know, if I had this disease, if I could be around it on a daily basis in a setting like this,” but Lukac is maintaining high spirits. “The last two or three months,” he told the Tribune, “being here and doing what I’ve been able to do, it just feels great.” Good luck to him. (Photo: Nancy Stone – Chicago Tribune)

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27 Comments

  1. cynic  

    people are motivated by self-interest. i think we went over this in cc.

    • ugh

      people like the poster above make me doubt humanity. this is the least self-interested action i could think of. if you only had a few months or a year to live, you would not be spending your time in a lab.
      this is beautiful.

      • cynic  

        why wouldn't i? i'd give it the hail mary and see if i could do something about my illness. sounds reasonable to me.

        • Come on...  

          As slow moving as cancer research is, and as his particular type of cancer will (unfortunately) probably kill him before he could receive any sort of benefit, it seems more likely that he's just a good person and he's trying to do something helpful with whatever time he has left.

          And even if he is motivated by self interest, he's still doing research that could potentially save the lives of many other patients. Which is pretty much the least selfish thing a person could do out of self interest. If he benefits, so will thousands of others. I feel like that's a reasonable trade off for any motivating self interest...

          • umm

            #1 didn't say he was being selfish, just that he was motivated out of self-interest. If you can't distinguish between the two, you're the one that should be anonymously berated on the internet

    • ...

      You're not a cynic, just an asshole.

    • Do you

      write comments like that just to get a charge out of people, or are you really the depraved, unseemly person you make yourself out to be, you sicko?

  2. the mail center

    will not be opened on saturdays anymore!!
    http://mailservices.columbia.edu/

  3. can't wait for the movie

    He was just a boy with a pipe dream. Actually, a pipette dream. THIS SUMMER, in a battle against time and death, Lukac Bredel is... THE RESEARCHER.

  4. Surfin' UWS

    This bums me out. I need a bowl of Trix.

  5. I believe

    this is the opposite of self-interest. PJ has plenty of research experience, and like poster #7 said, anyone with lab experience knows that basic science research is very slow moving and is unlikely to benefit him. If I were in the situation where I was given only a few months to live, the last place I would want to be is in a lab. He's devoting his time to helping future patients so that others don't have to go through what he is currently experiencing. PJ is an amazing person and should be an inspiration to us all.

    • Fuck Yes

      Beat the median! Go to Engineering school, study hard to get grades and the knowledge, party hard so you are happy and have social skills, and pull any connections you have to get good summer jobs and you too could make $80k starting + $5k bonus while working 40 hours a week.

  6. TIP for that kid

    he could always just smoke more pot

    http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6812

  7. love ya bwog

    but what does this have to do with columbia?

    • HELL YEAHS

      I couldn't handle the frenzy of froshers wooding all over this and HP-mania going nuclear.

      Good riddance to bad rubbish. She seems like a nice girl but I'm glad we won't be getting Watson_watch for 4 years.

  8. which means  

    I doubt he's actually a student at CU anymore

  9. yikes  

    that sounds like a terrible life. you sound asian.

    • Wow

      You tried to be witty, but came off as racist.

      That kind of comment is common among people who move back in with their parents for a year after graduation, then end up getting a crappy HR job they hate at best. They barely make ends meet just to live in Brooklyn because it's SO cool, but they can't afford to do anything there anyway.

      How does my life sound terrible? Please do elaborate.

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