Advances in fighting cancer

We’re really excited here at Know the Glow when advances in cancer research come through. In October a huge step forward in fighting cancer was recognized with a shared Nobel-prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to Jim Allison, the chair of immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Japanese immunologist Tasuku Honjo.

Their groundbreaking work in immune checkpoint inhibitors harnesses the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. The treatment has proven successful in patients such as President Jimmy Carter whose brain cancer was treated in this method.

While this treatment is still limited and will not cure all cancer, it is still an important step forward into understanding the body’s own responses to cancer and the possibilities that can be developed based on this new understanding of the immune system.

Early-detection still best treatment

The advances are great news for the future of cancer treatment but the best treatment for childhood retinoblastoma, eye-cancer, is still early-detection.

While these new drugs and therapies offer a new, exciting way forward, early-detection is the most effective way to fight cancer. When diagnosed early, doctors have a much better chance of shrinking the eye-tumors and preserving the eye-sight of your child.

That’s why even though Know the Glow is hopeful about the advances in cancer treatment, our #1 priority is education. The more people who know about “The Glow”, a yellow-white or opaque reflection in the eye, the more likely it is to be recognized early by a parent or guardian. If caught and treated early, the success rate is much higher than if missed until vision issues become more obvious.

Do your best to fight cancer by spreading awareness of Know the Glow. Here are some ideas of how to take action:

Download this flyer and bring it to your next parent-teacher conference evening to have the teachers hand out to the parents.

Examine the photos you take of the kids on playdates and watch out not just for your own kids’ eyes but also for their friends.

Ask to tape up our Know the Glow flyer at your pediatrician’s office so other parents can be informed.

You may not win a Nobel prize but you’re playing a crucial role in the fight against childhood eye cancer!

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