Cancer Cell Immunity Annotated Bibliography


Cancer has always been a topic of interest for me. When I was around eight my grandmother died from breast cancer at age 52 and since then I’ve had a wonder about the disease. The more I looked into the science and medical area the more I saw I was proficient in it and thought “I could become a doctor and further cancer research myself” so that is the plan of action for the next seven years. In the meantime, learning more about the disease and keeping up with terminology and new discoveries will aid my progression into that community and hopefully ease my workload a little in medical school. Class assignments similar to this also help motivate my research because all of us get bored of things after a while and these keep re-igniting the flame for me, thankfully.

Tumors are collections of cancer cells that do not serve any bodily function and can obstruct vital organs or cause complete organ failure. What defines a cancer cell is a cell that replicates too quickly and never enters G0 phase (the dormant stage of a cell in which it does not replicate itself and only expends energy on normal cellular function). Basically, the cells replicate to a point where the cells build up to a mass and the cells cannot function or they function incorrectly because they replicated too quickly to develop proper internal structure for that cell type. Tumors are first benign, meaning it does not spread and stays local, but as soon as it enters another area of the body it is considered malignant and poses a much higher threat to the individual. Once the cancer has progressed this far, it become much harder to treat and if the cancer is resisting treatment to begin with, it is pretty much assumed terminal and you’ll get an estimated time to live based on how far the cancer has progressed and what stage you are in (stage 1-4). A stage 1 cancer is normally treatable or operational but anything stages 2-4 is considered terminal with varying degrees and usually people don’t respond well to the news.

Some cancers are naturally resistant to chemotherapy and cancer fighting drugs but others  diminish and later return with a resistance to the drug. This makes is why when a cancer comes back after it’s been treated once already, doctors usually use a secondary method of treatment because they know the cancer has become resistant to the first method. Peter Shelby writes in the British Medical Journal, “most times, biological resistance of cancer cells to drugs is because of biochemical changes within tumor cells”. Larry E. Hogwood concurs with that statement and describes more in depth that reasons for ineffective drugs treatments are altered target enzymes, gene amplification and surface glycoproteins being present which inhibits the drug from entering the cell.


Manson, Scott R., Benjamin E. Derverman, and Steven J. Weintraub. “Resistance to Antineoplastic Therapy.” Cell Press. Elsevier Inc, 2004. Web. 7 April. 2016.

Zhao and coworkers present the findings of studies in which they used a transgenic mouse model of T cell lymphoma to dissect the components of the transforming function of an activated form of the Src-related tyrosine kinase Lck. They compared the effects of two different levels of Lck activity on the response to γ radiation and etoposide. Amazingly, even though the p53 signaling pathway was equally responsive to treatment in thymocytes expressing either “intermediate activity” (higher activity than wild-type Lck, but nononcogenic) or “hyperactive” (oncogenic) Lck, and both levels of Lck activity induced expression of similar levels of Bcl-xL, the “hyperactive” Lck was strikingly more effective in preventing both γ radiation-induced and etoposide-induced apoptosis (the death of cells that occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development).

Selby, Peter. “Acquired Resistance to Cancer Chemotherapy”. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition) 288.6426 (1984): 1252–1253. Web. 7 April. 2016.

Many cancers are naturally resistant to cancer treatment such as malignant melanoma or colorectal carcinoma. Some others are diminished by treatment but later on return because the cancer becomes drug resistant. Most times, biological resistance of cancer cells to drugs is because of biochemical changes within tumor cells. When human and murine tumors are exposed to continuous or graded concentrations of methotrexate in vitro they become resistant for several reasons. One of which is because uptake of the drug by the cells is reduced. Mutant enzymes with a low affinity for the drug may be synthesized or the amount of dihydrofolate reductase may be increased. Resistant cells have greater excess of dihydrofolate reductase genes.

Hopwood, Larry E., and John E. Moulder. “Radiation Induction of Drug Resistance in RIF-1 Tumors and Tumor Cells”. Radiation Research 120.2 (1989): 251–266. Web. 6 April 2016.

For the most part, drug-resistant cells in tumors account for the failure of chemotherapy, used alone or combined with radiation. Reasons for the cell being resistant to treatments are altered target enzymes, defective transport, the drug not activating, gene amplification, surface glycoproteins being present, and abundance of drug inactivating enzyme. Goldie, Coldman and Skipper created mathematical models that help determine drug resistance after the primary wave of treatment and observing the mutants that resisted it and will subsequently not be affected by later similar treatments. They work by assuming background frequency of drug resistant cells. Tumors do not show any mutations initially after radiation therapy. Instead, it is assumed that the wild type gene is diluted before any of the mutated genes are expressed and this takes place over several replications. The delay between irradiation and the expression of drug resistance by radiation-induced mutants may be an important consideration in the scheduling of combined radiation and chemotherapy treatments.



Muldoon Monday

I was not able to see Paul Muldoon in person, unfortunately, but I was able to read a poem by him: “Hedgehog”. Although it was a short read, it had a lot of depth to it and was at the very least interesting. In the poem it seemed that he almost idolized the hedgehog, giving it some sort of vast knowledge we don’t have and are pleading with him to share it, though he won’t. It is also worth noting that Muldoon breaks the scheme of some poetic writings and rather continues ideas between stanzas allowing it to flow through the entire work rather than be constricted in the four to five line space.paulmuldoon_newbioimage

As for being a “genius” as some may say, I do not know that he is one. He is talented, writes extremely thoughtful works and is awarded though I cannot state what I do not know.

Alex on Anne (Lamott)

Friday morning at Lenoir Rhyne University Anne Lamott, the visiting writer that week, spoke with the faculty and students and answered questions on how she did her work and what methods she employs when writing. Although it didn’t take place during actual convocation hour, it held convo credit as “A conversation with Anne Lamott” and it was exactly that. Most of us were simply spectating during the conversation for the majority of the hour but some asked thoughtful questions that made Lamott think a little more than she probably anticipated this early.

During one of her responses she mentioned “You’re going to alienate someone but it better not be you”. As I do not remember the context exactly but her words were true to anyone in any public situation because even you’re surrounded by opposing views it’s imperative that you know where you stand from a decision you made on your own without anyone’s influence. I mention this because it happens a lot in society and sometimes even subconsciously from continual ads posted everywhere and as individuals we should be make individual decisions on personal matters.aaeaaqaaaaaaaak4aaaajge1ywnhy2vjltdiodetngnmmc1imwu3ltc3owq2mdjjyja1yw

Among her writings, one of which being a piece she published in 2005 “Shitty First Drafts“, Lamott spoke of her troubles she went through while getting to the place she is now. She is a conversationalist for sure judging by her interview that morning because it was so casual even for a conversation interview. I hadn’t needed to know she spilled something on herself late yesterday and still haven’t changed because it was not incredibly noticeable but I supposed that carelessness comes with age because I’ve seen many older people going about things and not caring for minor details.

Keillor On The “Big White Snapping Turtle”

In response to Donald Trump’s speaking at Lenoir Rhyne University on March 15th Garrison Keillor wrote an article on friends of his’ reaction towards the Presidential candidate. Keillor elaborates on how some of his friends are saying that they will move to another country, most favorable Canada, if Trump gets elected President to which Keillor responds with “No you won’t”. maxresdefaultSimply put, Trump is an annoyance and in my opinion, a terrible representation of this country. I am a foreign born citizen so I know how the United States appears to other countries and although it has its bad qualities its people are much better than Trump exemplifies. A President is supposed to be a representation of the country as a whole and makes decisions in U.N. meetings based on the best interest of the nation and I am not wholly confident he can do that. Keillor makes note of some of this but mainly spoke about how it would be unlikely for Americans to move just because of a nonthreatening “white snapping turtle” even if it gives a bid image. He also writes that when our ancestors moved to the United States they were escaping real threats such as oppression, murder, disease and tyrannical rulers that tortured its citizens, not an old blabbering puppet. When put this way Keillor makes it seem more childish and offsetting.

Do We Really Need Random Roommates?

College Education Should Include Rooming With A Stranger” – a New York Times article by Anna Altman which depicts the supposed importance of rooming and subsequently getting to know a stranger on a fairly personal level. You will live with that person because logistics dictate it is necessary. Beyond what was said in the article, I fully believe in the philosophy and it genuinely works, in my opinion. The uncertainty you get with sharing a ten by twenty area (without furniture) with someone who’s name you learned just the other day and whom you’ve met for the first time in person probably a few hours ago. I was never afforded that option for logistical issues of my own but I value that experience because some of my best friends all went through it and I wish I could have had that experience. Considering I don’t live on campus, I am on campus more than any other commuter and I can say that with confidence because I arrive around 7:45 every morning and sometimes don’t return home until 10:00 at night between classes, practice, studying and hanging with friends. Though I do not technically live on campus however, I consider myself to be a resident; I just don’t sleep at a Lenoir Rhyne dorm room every night. With that in mind, does it really matter to have random roommates?

Anna Altman starts off the piece with explaining that the first week of school is a big week for all college freshman because it is the start of a new semester and it is time to start moving in to a room with a complete stranger that you will live with for a school year. She goes on the speak about how expensive it is for the school to move around students in the middle of the semester but they do it anyways in fear of the student being so unhappy they drop out. There is even a section that touches on apps and tools people use to get their new roommate to inform us of the severity colleges are considering this. Altman talks about how and why a roommate can affect your behaviors from the way you act all the way down to the way you act to certain things. “Anxious roommates make us more anxious”, she writes, “but unfortunately happy roommates don’t make us happier”. (Altman) Certain habits and traits are traded among roommates similar to how a brother and sister in good standing share common characteristics. Altman then labors on the psychological factors that contribute to being randomly assigned a roommate. Being forced to room with someone of a different socioeconomic group expands the individual’s horizons and over time allows for tolerance of different kinds of people, thus adapting them to the world more readily and hopefully with greater ease.

I have many friends on campus and spend a good bit of time around them; so much so that they sometimes forget that I have to drive home almost every night. If I, a commuter student, can and often do, go to other student’s rooms to be with friends, there is a decent chance that most other residents are prepared to do the exact same just to be around more people. I have interviewed associates of mine who have been asked questions of how well they get along with their roommates to which some responded: “it is a ‘don’t bother me and I wont bother you’ kind of relationship” and the occasional yet rare “We just love each other and do all these roomie things together, like we are the best of friends”. Obviously, there is a huge contrast between these two responses but most others were variations of the two. This leads to the categorization of college roommates into “I am content with my roommate and don’t want to spend every day living with them” and the stereotypical white girl response “I love my roommate so much we became best friends and do literally everything together”. Regardless of which group you fall in, there is always the option of going to another friends’ room to expand your circle of friends and social level. Given you like your roommate, chances are you still don’t want to spend every living hour with them because even though you live together, it doesn’t mean that you will both become type II roommates. An extremely unfortunate relationship that may develop between roommates is when one gets clingy to the other and the clingy roommate thinks that they are best friends but the other is annoyed by the behaviors the other roommate displays and their relationship is compromised because of mixed emotions and it turns into a complete dislike for each other. A cycle between these levels of interactions between roommates occurs and sometimes people never find a roommate that suits them over the four years they are in the undergraduate program while a lucky few hit it off with their roommate from the start.

Universities, such as Lenoir Rhyne, have tried to alleviate the tension and complaints they get from students and parents by encouraging roommates to pick each other before school starts leaving the resulting roommate experience up to the students and off the university although it is a pain for the university to move those students around especially if it is close to maximum enrollment status. The university has every right and may even decline your request to change roommates; leaving you SOL (straight outta luck). Let’s say you thought you had the perfect roommate to begin with. You both were talking and planned things together because you were friends to start but now that you’re living with them, you can’t stand them and your perception of them has changed drastically since. Truthfully, a lot of friendships get ruined by friends that rooms together and find that they aren’t as compatible as they thought. On the other side of the spectrum is the person who doesn’t like their randomly assigned roommate. Perhaps they got along okay to begin with but as time went on and each person started to show their real behaviors, things got messy and a call for a new roommate was made. With either case, you have the option to go to other peoples’ rooms and hang out while paperwork is being sorted out. I know a guy who only goes to his room to sleep and sometimes doesn’t even go to sleep there on the weekends. His roommate almost has the room to himself which doesn’t bother him at all.

No matter the predicament, there’s an alternative option you can take to avoid either a bad roommate or one that you simply don’t get along with. I understand that a huge part of the roommate “problems” people have is because of the option to change roommates. The university gives students the option to change roommates to keep you satisfied enough to stay there because a large part of the universities job is retention. Otherwise, they have no income to run the facility. Without that option, I think students would suck it up and learn to live with that person unless it was a real serious issue. With that in mind, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to press on for random roommate assignments because they will end up with about the same outcome as everyone else’s who chose their roommate.

Works Cited

Altman, Anna. “A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger.” OpTalk A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger Comments. The Opinion Pages, 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

Snow Day Review and criticism

Billy Collins’ poem, “Snow Day“, talks about a day out of school because of snow from the presumed perspective of a hardworking adult. He talks about the “white flag waving over everything” (2) and the “government buildings smothered” (6). This is to say that the adults are no longer the ones bustling around and taking up all the space in the world. The children have that power now as the adults stay inside where it is warm. An interesting point in the poem begins on line 21, “the Kiddie Corner School is closed, the Ding-Dong School, closed…”. Here Collins speaks about an abundance of schools that are now closed because of the inclement weather. The funny thing about the schools is the name of each school; each one is named in an almost mocking way. The All Aboard Children’s School connects in my mind as “All Aboard the Hogwarts Express” and Tom Thumb Child Center reminds me of little kids sitting in a chair with a thumb in their mouth and a confused look on their face. I just always found the names of pre-schools to be that way for some reason.