I have a new update on what is going on with Dallas guitarist Rhett Butler. Click HERE to read all my postings (just scroll down after you hit the link) about Rhett and about Rhett's quest to help his little brother, Ashley. Unfortunately, Ashley lost his battle with cancer this past spring, but Rhett is continuing to try to help others so they won't have to suffer like Ashley and his family.
--CD cover for Chasing Miracles (the CD also features accordionist Joel Guzman)
Rhett has sent an update to his email list and the following is an excerpt:
Back in early March, I took Ashley on a cruise while he had a break from his treatments. We were sitting in the cafeteria having a hot tea when I had an revelation. He was starting to get very sick and I could feel something bad was coming. I remember sitting in front of him at the table praying for God to help me find a way to help him. I looked down at the table and saw the tea bag sitting on a napkin. I picked it up and thought immediately about a cancer study that I had read about in Science/Transitional Medicine last December. (I have spent a thousand hours reading cancer research.)
This study, conducted by Harvard University produced a cancer vaccine that eliminated distant bulky tumors in lab animals. This is the first time this has ever happened. Until then, vaccines were only effective against minimal disease (no tumors). CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT IT.
Instead of injecting the subjects with the vaccine (made of the subjects cancer cells), they implanted the vaccine under the skin of the animal on sponge type device. This created a more persistent threat to the immune system which in turn created a 60 times greater response and the elimination of tumors! Brilliant! I thought to myself, this is exactly how a tea bag works. The tea stays in one place, the water gets the information it needs and the longer the bag stays in the water, the darker the tea.
When I got home from the trip, I called the head investigator, Dr. Robert Mooney. I asked him when they were going to start trials in humans. He told me late 2010. I then asked him if Ashley would be eligible and he said no. Sarcoma would not be studied for at least three more years.
I then thought about Dr. Slavin, Ashley's doctor in Israel. In 2007 he had created an experimental clinic to offer customized vaccines and other immunotherapies - www.ctcicenter.com I wondered if he knew about Harvard's results. In April, after researching it thoroughly, I worked up the courage to travel to Israel to propose my idea to him. Now you have to understand, this is the same man who created the treatment for the Bubble Boy syndrome. I was going half-way around to world to give a biology lesson to one of the fathers of immunotherapy.
I told him about the tea bag, gave him a print-out of the study and summarized it. He agreed that creating a sustained immune response was the goal of immunotherapy in relation to cancer. He also noted that to this point, the failure of immunotherapy was the treatment of large distant tumors. As I continued the presentation, Slavin kept saying, "That's a good idea", over and over.
The doctor then asked me to come back the next day so he could have time to read the Harvard study. He was very impressed but was not convinced that Harvard’s sponge was the best solution for an implant. He explained some other designs that he came up with that night.
Slavin asked me what I was proposing. I told him that I wanted to help him make this technology available. He then told me that he wants to start research immediately.
This summer, I started a corporation to fund the research and development of Slavin’s designs. Between a few investors and the money that I raised with “The Kid from Kilkenny” Box set, Multiple Antigen Platforms Corp. has $150,000 of the $350,000 that Slavin feels it will take to complete the first round of research and publish the results. I hope to begin later this year.
So now I have another project that I am working on for Ashley. Unfortunately, my brother will never have his shot at this treatment but we have been fighting for so long that stopping now is unacceptable, even if we can’t have our reward. This is Ashley’s legacy and his assignment to me. I will be keeping you up to date on our progress.
This why the last CD was named “Chasing Miracles”.
So, how can we help Rhett complete his assignment? We can purchase his music, especially Chasing Miracles and The Kid from Kilkenny boxed set, knowing Rhett will try his best to bring this treatment to those who need it.
Some of us have been affected by cancer more than others, but no one today is left unaffected by this disease.