Monday, June 25, 2007


After the warmest April we now have had the wettest June. The rain is coming down in stair rods and people have been killed by the floods. Of course, it is the first week of Wimbledon, so what should we expect? All those hats at Royal Ascot got soaked and Glastonbury turned into a mud bath. The English summer has returned.

The book on CLL that I was writing for doctors has been abandoned. My co-author who was writing the myeloid side has not been able to find the time to do his part, so I have abandoned my part with 6500 words already written. I feel a strange relief at the release. Perhaps I didn't really want to do it.

Most of today I have been kicking my heels doing killer sudokus and reading a detective story. Is this what retirement is going to be like? Frankly I am bored.

There are things I could do, but I realy can't be bothered. I have recorded the talk that I should have given in Niagara Falls onto my computer and am trying to send it to Canada. It takes about 500 megabytes of storage and has to be sent via a special website for large files. At this rate it will take about ten hours to send. I have alrady tried once, but after nothing arrived after 2 hours I thought there must be something wrong and abandoned it. This time I have kept track of its progress. So far only 15% has gone.

Part of the boredom is the state of politics in this country. Ms H. Harman was elected as deputy leader of the Labor Party. In order to get elected she took an anti-Iraq stance. I guess she thought that she might become deputy Prime Minister like Prescott was, but Brown put her in her place by making her Party Chairman, a post of monumental insignificance. In doing so he proffered the sack for Hazel mini-Blears who had occupied that post. Harman has infuriated the country by suggesting that she ought to be elected because she was a woman and there were enough men in top jobs. She also sent her children to schools that selected academically when it was part policy to phase out such schools.

Most impressive of the candidates was John Cruddas who was the only back-bencher and the only one who did not see this election as a stepping stone to power. He was the leader after the first ballot. On a decent first past the post electoral system he would have won. These foreign proportional representation systems only lead to fudges. Look around at what they lead to: Israel, Italy and the European Union. And Northern Ireland, Heaven help us.


Dave said...

Perhaps a scientific question to relieve boredom? Like you I am a scientist and was diagnosed with CLL just over a year ago. Although most of my prognostic markers are favorable (ZAP, CD38 FISH) my mutational status is only 1.7% from germline. It seems to me that the 2% cutoff must be somewhat arbitrary, however I cannot seem to find a paper that breaks down progression according to different degrees of mutation of the gene. Is there any clinical data on "borderline" mutated people? All I seem to find is over/under 2%. Thanks in advance if you can answer.

Terry Hamblin said...


Please see the last post but two, Borderline Mutated. This is a version of the paper I am just about to submit. It gives the onl;y graphs that are available for those who are borderline mutated.

Dave said...

Thanks for the reply. Somehow I missed this post. I look forward to the paper. Although it may be splitting hairs, I would love to see a Table of the 44 or so people between 99.9 and 97% mutated broken out according to time to treatment, and the exact percentage mutated. Although certainly a small population, I wonder if there is any hint of a trend there.

Anonymous said...

I've been to England five times. The best was in the late 1980s, I think. Anyway it was reputed to be the driest May ever. Boy was it nice! Just like sunny California. Made it to Scotland in warm, balmy weather.

It was drizzly in the Orkneys, though.

Anonymous said...

Here's another medical question:

Richter's transformation is estimated to be from, say, 3% to 10%. However, I assume that is in all CLL patients.

If one is unmutated, I assume the risk would be higher, perhaps 10%. And in say 17p or 11q, ZAP-70 positive, CD38 positive, etc., wouldn't the rate be maybe 15-20%?

In any case, significantly higher than the risk overall.

Terry Hamblin said...

The rate of Richter's transformation is greatest in patients who are multiply treated, particularly if the treatmnt includes fludarabine. The increased risk seems to be largely due to reactivation of Ebstein Barr Virus infections.