April 30, 2010
THANK you, small furry rodents....
Tysabri, a relatively new disease modifying drug, has had great success in slowing progression with only that teensy little risk of brain infection - it comes from mouse cells called monoclonal antibodies.
Avonex, the interferon I was thinking I'd be switched to, is from the cute little fellows shown above - dwarf hamsters. I though it was more than appropriate given that I'd nursed a sweet sweet dwarf hamster for 3 plus years with my daughter - she developed a tumour and I kept it under control with my nursing skills...I thought it would be somewhat serendipitous if they helped me back now.
The Copaxone I'm on now is a chemical derivative, no rodents involved, although I'm sure they were involved in the research for its development.
Now I know a lot of you probably are worried about our little furry friends living out their lives in labs, but I've got to tell you, it isn't a bad life. You get fed, you get to reproduce like...ahem...mice, and though your life is short, it isn't appreciably shorter than a natural life, where, face it, you are food for the rest of the food chain. Death is quick and a lot less brutal than being chewed.
But every now and then it seems appropriate to say a quiet huzzah for these wee workhorses of the research industry. So three cheers, tiny four-footed ones! Thanks for your endless service and wishes for lots of crunchy seeds and veggies and a good hot date.