G- CSF? A human protein used for cancer treatments? -Ilianna N

263382While reading Chapter 1, Begley’s Bombshell, something that I learned which shocked me the most is that Humans have a protein called  Granulocyte colony stimulating factor  or G-CSF that is used in cancer treatments. I mean how does that work, is it the protein that tells you that you are cancer free after going through rounds of chemotherapy. According to Cancer Research UK it is a protein that can make bone morow produce white blood cells that will help strengthen the imune system and help fight off any infections that might occur after chemotherapy. ” G- CSF ultimately proved to be Amgen’s first block buster drug…” (pg 8)

Personally I have had many people in my family suffer from cancer and they have had to undergo chemotherapy and I have seen how sick they can be but also how healthy they are after their Granulocyte colony stimulating factor protein kicks in and white blood cells start fighting back. I knew that we have white blood cells but I was never sure where we go them from.  Before I was placed into biomed I didnt even know anything about bone marrow but now I know that you can have bone marrow cancer and bone marrow transplants and that bone marrow makes white blood cells.

Another thing that I found intresting was how Begley went through old studies that were filed away and were deamed as not reproducible, and how he got some of the orginal scientists to help recreate the labs and prove the studies and results and how unsuccesful they where.  In the beginning Begley wanted to recreate 53  studies but in the end he only could reproduce 6.  ” .. Six. That is barely one out ten…. Begley went to the Amgen board of directors and asked what he should do with this information. They told him to publish it.” (pg 9) I personally think that was a good idea but I also feel that it would be embarrasing for the other scientists but I think that the results will be benefical to Amgen and other Biopharmaceuitcal companies.

I found this chapter to be very personal because of my family and what they have gone through and what they do.

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