Antimyeloma activity of the sesquiterpene lactone cnicin: impact on Pim-2 kinase as a novel therapeutic target…(and other readings)…

That (first part) is the title of an abstract I came upon earlier this morning: It discusses cnicin, a sesquiterpene lactone (= a chemical compound that can cause allergic, even toxic!, reactions if overdosed…but, if correctly dosed, can reduce inflammation…aha!) that is able to kill myeloma cells even in the presence of survival cytokines and the tumor microenvironment. Excellent! However, we then find out that other hematopoietic cells are also killed, which doesn’t sound that good. Until I read the full study, though, I won’t know what exactly that means…

A quick digression: cnicin is found in St. Benedict’s thistle, a thistle-like plant in the family Asteraceae (Wikipedia: It’s a weed, a noxious weed!

Back now to our abstract. The Austrian researchers also discovered a new target in myeloma treatment, Pim-2 kinase, which helps myeloma cells survive. And they also tested cnicin together with current standard or experimental therapeutics. We don’t know which therapeutics…So I must get my hands on the full study…


Oasi WWF di Focognano

But, hey, the good news is that cnicin exterminated myeloma cells and that we also have a new treatment target…Food for thought…

Another interesting article I read this morning in “Cure” magazine concerns the difficulty of identifying the environmental causes of cancer: highly recommended read.

This “Cure” magazine article is for pet lovers (who also have cancer):

Now for a few personal notes. I’m finally going back to work tomorrow, so my long holiday is over. It’s been lovely to spend a lot of time with Stefano and my friends, but my day job is finally…calling! 🙂

Let’s see, what else? Last night, Stefano and I finally finished watching Season Two of what has become my favorite BBC series, “Downton Abbey.” Still first-rate, although I found a couple of things a bit perplexing. Hmmm. Well, I can’t mention them now, since Season Two has only just begun showing on U.S. television, and I don’t want to give anything away!

And now the wait begins for Season Three! (Autumn 2012)

Another titbit: I FINALLY, fingers crossed!, seem to have shaken or smothered the nasty virus that gave me a terrrrrrrible cough back in September…a cough that would go away for a while, then pop back up again, then go away and so on. This was the reason why I kept postponing my usual autumn blood tests, even though, apart from the occasional cough, I felt fine. And even THE cough didn’t stop me from being active…it was just an occasional nuisance, that’s all. Anyway, I’ll try to have blood tests done this week. Yes, believe me, I know I know I know…It’s about time! But I didn’t want to fret about blood tests while I was on holiday…Besides, I feel splendidly well…

Ah, that reminds me. Some readers have asked about my current protocol. Well, because of my hectic holiday schedule, which included some birdwatching, as you can see (I took these two photos, of a teal and a shoveler, at a WWF oasis just outside of Florence, on Saturday), I have been taking only fish oil, quercetin and curcumin. Nothing new, that is. 

Not yet, anyway! 🙂


  1. Downton Abbey was one of the best Christmas gifts I received this year. I was also given “At Home” by Bill Bryson, an intruiging book that was the perfect companion to read along with the DVD. Highly recommendable!

  2. Regarding a cough, that is what led me to the doctor and down smoldering road — I hope — in the first place. The funny thing is that I have just discovered after several months of dealing with a cough tickle and intermittent but very harsh cough — perhaps like yours — that I can make it all go away with phenylephrine or sudafed. Nothing more than a sinus decongestant. I still plan to get at the root of the problem — but for now, my respiratory system can finally enjoy some quiet time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *