Patient Applauds Dr. Isner
I was dismayed to read in the March 12, 2000, Wall Street Journal the attack on Dr. Jeffrey Isner’s cardiac gene therapy work.
I was Dr. Isner’s first gene therapy patient two years ago. I had the VEGF-1 gene injected into my heart through a mini-thoracotomy incision. Before the gene therapy, I had frequent attacks of angina. I was having angina at rest and upon exertion. Doctors at both Duke University and the University of Colorado had given me a very grim prognosis of maybe six months to live. After the therapy, I was angina-free for over a year. An angiogram a few weeks after the procedure clearly showed increased blood flow to my heart. I have occasional angina now, but echocardiogram, nuclear medicine, and angiogram tests last week in Boston show there has been no deterioration in my condition in the last two years. This is remarkable for someone like me who has such a history of heart and stroke problems. Several angioplasties and 3 1/2 bypasses out of four grafts had failed prior to my seeing Dr. Isner.
Since the first trials were with a slightly different gene than is now used, were in a lesser dosage and had to be administered through an incision, I am now very eager to have the opportunity to have therapy by catheter with the VEGF-2 gene. I wholeheartedly believe that I am alive today because of Dr. Isner’s work.
Please help get the word out that those of us who depend for our lives on the kind of innovative therapy that Dr. Isner and others are doing are OUTRAGED by the FDA’s stopping of all gene therapy research because of an unrelated tragic occurrence with unrelated gene therapy in Pennsylvania.
If the FDA can fast-track the approval of various AIDS remedies, why is it so reluctant to let cardiac gene therapy proceed when there are countless millions of us in the U.S. who desperately need new approaches, since the conventional remedies have failed us. When we are given such grim prognoses by practitioners of other heart procedures, we feel each day is counting down to the inevitable end for us. PLEASE get the word out there that Dr. Isner’s patients can’t wait while bureaucrats try to “protect us” from any conceivable harm that gene therapy could do. Waiting is killing us. Research and clinical trials must be allowed to get back on track.
John W. Gardiner 7972 Grand Bay Drive Naples, FL 34108 (Telephone: 941-592-1012)
Readers Are Urged to Write FDA
Editor’s note: The SatEvePost has learned that the following persons at the FDA might be helpful in getting the ban lifted so that Dr. Isner can continue his work.
Jay Seigel, M.D. FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Office of Therapeutics Research and Review HFM-500 Suite 380 North 1401 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852-1448
Katherine Zoon, Ph.D. 8800 Rockville Pike Room 5NN02-HFM-1 Bethesda, MD 20892-0001
Hoping for Congressional Hearing
Rev. Charles Wilson (Man/Apr. 2000 SatEvePost) has called his congresswoman, Sue Myrick. Denyse Trejo is doing research on coronary gene therapy in Representative Myrick’s office. Hopefully, if enough representatives and senators can hear about Dr. Isner’s work, a congressional hearing will be called. Representative Myrick and her assistant can be reached at:
Representative Sue Myrick 230 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Telephone: 202-225-1976 FAX: 202-225-3389 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember “way back when” (about 65 years, I think) my friends and I would sit on the back porch with a stack of Norman Rockwell Post covers and use matches to burn “frames” around them. Of course, we had to stop when my mother found us!
WIMSA (Women in Military Service Memorial in Washington, D.C.) bought the remaining copies of my book, The Way of the WAVES. Reprinting your May 31, 1958, cover would bring back many old WAVES tales for those of us who can’t fit into our uniforms after half a century!
Marie Bennett Alsmeyer Tyler, Texas
Alzheimer’s Test Available
Your article “Diagnosing Memory Loss,” which I discovered in The Saturday Evening Post for Jan./Feb. 2000, has a huge importance to me.
I need the phone number for Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation.
Tell Patrick Perry that his well-written article is much appreciated. Thank you all for giving me another chance.
Stuart Baldwin Tryon, North Carolina
Editor’s note: To order the AD7C test for Alzheimer’s disease, physicians can call Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation at 1-800-936-9669.
Painting a Picture of Rockwell
The following incident actually happened to me when I worked for The Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, which originally printed The Saturday Evening Post. My father worked there for about 47 years. I worked there about 15 years. (I am now 82.)
I started out as a messenger in the advertising department for the magazine. One day I pushed the signal button for the elevator operator. As I entered the elevator, the operator said, “Quick–turn around and look who you see.” I saw a slim, tall man with a pipe in his mouth and carrying a large-looking picture holder.
“Do you know who that is?” asked the operator. I told him no. “That’s Norman Rockwell–probably going to Mr. Curtis’ office to show him a painting of another soon-to-be Post cover.”
“Darn,” I replied. “He walked so hastily I couldn’t run over for an autograph.”
Walter G. Fredericks Bellmawr, New Jersey
Hitting the “Coffin Nail” on the Head
I recently purchased some old Saturday Evening Posts. In one, dated December 14, 1912, the enclosed article caught my attention [article follows letter]. The brief article could very well be dated March 1, 2000–seems over 80 years ago, they were very much concerned with cigarettes and their negative effects on one’s health, also their concern of cigarettes’ effects on “immature persons.” It doesn’t seem possible that “coffin nails” have had at least an 80-plus-year run without a handle being put on them regarding their adverse effect on one’s health.
Colin Richmond Fairview, North Carolina
Article from 1912 SatEvePost
“For at least ten years there has been a very busy anti-cigarette propaganda in this country, which has produced considerable legislation. Some states have prohibited the trade in “coffin nails” altogether; others have forbidden their sale to minors. If you examined the statute-books you would probably conclude that important headway had been made in reducing the use of tobacco in this form; but, in fact, one reason for the present boom in tobacco shares is found in the enormously increased consumption of cigarettes. In the fiscal year 1910 less than eight billion paper pipes were burned. During the next year the number rose to nine and a quarter billions. Last year the outturn was nearly twelve billions, and for the current fiscal year tobacco men figure on an output of fifteen billions.
“Cigarettes are peculiarly objectionable for immature persons–not because tobacco in that form is more noxious than in any other, but because cigarettes are so handy that a smoking habit thrives on them more rapidly than on a pipe or a cigar, and almost always the smoke is inhaled. A boy and a cigarette call for a paddle! We wish every immature cigarette smoker could be spanked into total abstinence; but restrictive legislation by several states has certainly made a most imperceptible impression upon the national habit.”
–Submitted by Colin Richmond
Editor’s note: Had we only listened in 1912!
We thoroughly enjoy your magazine; it is the best health magazine we’ve received. We have received introductory offers from Berkeley Health Bulletin and Mayo Clinic Bulletin, to name two, but your magazine tops all of them. Besides comprehensive articles on some aspect of health, you have interesting articles on other subjects and personalities.
In the March/April 2000 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, we particularly took note of the report on fibromyalgia, which Oleta has. We were so impressed, we took our magazine to our doctor and asked him to read it–particularly “Focus on Fibromyalgia”–and thereby lost our magazine before we had read half of it!
Oliver and Oleta Riley Yelm, Washington
Praise for Heston
On behalf of my family, our Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America members, and all self-evident truth believers in America, I salute The Saturday Evening Post for their glowing representation of these truths so celebrated in our hearts and souls.
Your February 2000 issue, with the great American hero Charlton Heston on the cover, was a warrior shot across the bow of a growing irresponsible, inept, and dishonest journalism regarding the God-given right to self-defense and arms.
Knowing by the statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; FBI; and National Shooting Sports Foundation; the truth is that for every gun used wrongly, there are literally untold millions used properly. As a proud board member of the NRA, I know those family members are pleased to see The Saturday Evening Post report this truth.
Charlton Heston’s brilliant article, combined with the great pieces on hunting art and positive youth shooting experiences, was a breath of fresh air in its honest portrayal of 99.99 percent of gun-owning families in America. I encourage you to continue on this rare, high ground you have attained.
Ted Nugent Jackson, Michigan
Editor’s note: Ted Nugent is a multiplatinum-selling recording artist and guitarist with an interest in shooting sports.
Calling the Shots
Thank you sincerely for the Jan./ Feb. 2000 issue of the Post, which ran complimentary stories on the Second Amendment and the Olympic Shooting Sports.
In these days of political correctness run amuck, it is encouraging to see someone stand up for freedom. Unfortunately, I learned today the situation has deteriorated so far that this year, the U.S. Olympic target-shooting team does not have a single sponsor.
I thank you again for your work in support of our freedoms, and I thank you for your service to our country.
David Deming Norman, Oklahoma
The politicians asking for gun-control legislation amaze me. If we already have 144 gun-control laws on the books (and the criminals who commit crimes obey none of them), why should we vote for politicians who shout for more gun-control laws? Why can’t we ask for enforcement of the gun-control laws we have? Most crimes with guns are committed by criminals who will surely break any additional laws politicians get passed. Tell your legislators to attack the problem by enforcing our laws.
Fed up in Texas!
Allison Smith Dallas, Texas
More Lysine Info Needed
I have always been plagued with cold sores. Several years ago, I read in your magazine about the use of L-lysine. I take one a day and have no more cold sores.
About three years after I started, I had shingles. Friends of mine who had had them were surprised that I recovered from them so quickly–and I have had no recurrence. I attribute that to the fact I had been taking L-lysine for some time. I have passed this information on to many people.
Mrs. H. F. Reheis Monticello, Georgia
One “Sharpe” Young Man
While going through my relative’s personal belongings after her death, I found this picture (above) of her brother, Leland E. Sharpe. She often spoke of her brother Leland and told of his selling subscriptions to The Saturday Evening Post magazine in Appleton, Wisconsin.
This picture was probably taken locally, sometime between 1913 and 1915 (estimated). Can you tell from the lady’s picture on the cover of the magazine he is holding?
Vivian E. Wickesberg Appleton, Wisconsin
Editor’s note: The cover shown is dated October 11, 1913.
A Century of Epiphany
For several years I received The Saturday Evening Post. I read the magazine at that time and enjoyed it. However, I am now re-reading them and wish to report that my only criticism is that they keep me up all night!
I fall into a deep sleep around 7:00 a.m. and consequently, since I live in a nursing home, have to be called for breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
Come Epiphany, I shall be 100.
H. Burkhardt Rochester, New York
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