John McCain’s widow, Cindy, tweeted: “My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”
His daughter Meghan said the task of her lifetime would now be “to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love.
Following news of John McCain’s death, wellwishers waving flags lined the street as a hearse brought his body from his ranch near Cornville, Arizona, to a funeral home in Phoenix.
The six-term senator for Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee was diagnosed after doctors discovered his tumor during surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye last July.
John McCain’s family said he would lie in state in Phoenix, Arizona, and in Washington DC before a funeral at the Washington National Cathedral and his burial in Annapolis, Maryland.
Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to give eulogies.
The band said in a written statement: “Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss… on the lips.”
Gord Downie’s lyrics often referenced Canadian culture and mythology, which endeared the band to fans who were used to seeing Canadian musicians “Americanize” their music to appeal to an international audience.
The Tragically Hip’s first full-length album, Up to Here, was full of the kinds of blues-tinged party songs like New Orleans is Sinking that helped make the band one of Canada’s most in-demand live acts across the country.
However, it was the band’s subsequent albums, infused with obscure references to Canadian history and hockey and experimental song structures like Fireworks and Bobcaygeon that truly defined the sound of the Tragically Hip.
The band never made it big in the US – a fact that didn’t seemed to bother Gord Downie or his band too much.
At home, they regularly sold out stadiums, but south of the border, they could often be found playing small-town bars, mostly filled with Canadian fans who had made the trek just to see them.
Far from a sign of failure, their lack of international fame only helped seal their reputation at home as a national treasure. Nine out of the band’s 13 studio albums went to No 1 on Canada’s music charts, and all of them cracked the top 10.
Shortly after Gord Downie announced his cancer diagnosis last year, the band went on a sold-out nationwide summer tour, which helped raise C$1 million ($800,000) for brain cancer research.
The tour culminated in a final show in Kingston, Ontario, the band’s hometown, that was broadcast live across Canada.
In the final year of his life, Gord Downie released a solo album and graphic novel titled The Secret Path, inspired by the true story of an indigenous boy who died while trying to escape a residential school.
For his work on reconciliation, Gord Downie was awarded an Order of Canada by PM Justin Trudeau.
Holly Woodlawn has died of cancer at the age of 69.
The Puerto-Rico born transgender actress inspired Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side and appeared in Andy Warhol’s 70s movies Trash and Women in Revolt.
Lou Reed’s opening lyrics read: “Holly came from Miami, F-L-A / Hitchhiked her way across the USA / Plucked her eyebrows on the way / Shaved her legs, and then he was a she.”
Holly Woodlawn died on December 6 in Los Angeles, her friend Mariela Huerta said.
A memorial service is expected to be held in the city.
Holly Woodlawn, born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl, took on her new name after leaving home aged 15 and hitchhiking to New York City.
She told the Guardian in 2007 of her brief fame after appearing in Warhol’s films: “I was very happy when I gradually became a Warhol superstar. I felt like Elizabeth Taylor!
“Little did I realize that not only would there be no money, but that your star would flicker for two seconds and that was it. But it was worth it, the drugs, the parties, it was fabulous.”
Holly Woodlawn also explained that she did not get to know Lou Reed properly until after the song’s 1972 release.
Despite receiving critical acclaim for her film work, she did not find mainstream success.
Holly Woodlawn also appeared in 90s independent movies Twin Falls Idaho and Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss, as well as the Golden Globe-winning series Transparent, about the father of an LA family who comes out as transgender.
Joe Dallesandro, who starred in Trash, tweeted on December 6: “Holly Woodlawn was in Room 306 when I arrived to see her today. At 3:06pm LA time, she passed away.”
He also said on Facebook that he had visited in her in a hospice, adding: “I was next to her talking and telling her all the love that was being sent her way from everyone. It was like she knew I was there.”
They played a couple in Trash, produced by Andy Warhol and directed by Paul Morrissey, living in the fringes of New York’s East Village, scrounging for food and drugs.
According to Mariela Huerta, Holly Woodlawn, who had been battling brain and liver cancer, had no surviving relatives.
Ex-President Jimmy Carter has announced in a statement that his brain cancer is gone.
“My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones,” Jimmy Carter, 91, said.
The former president first announced the news during a Sunday school class in Plains, Georgia.
Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981 and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, revealed his illness in August.
Doctors have been treating four small melanoma lesions on his brain.
Last month, Jimmy Carter said he was responding well to treatment and there were no signs of further cancer growth.
Jill Stuckey, a member of the congregation at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Jimmy Carter had been teaching the class of about 350 people when he made the announcement.
“He said he got a scan this week and the cancer was gone,” she said.
“The church, everybody here, just erupted in applause.”
Jimmy Carter revealed in August that cancer initially found in his liver had spread to four spots on his brain. The lesion on his liver was removed on August 12.
After leaving the White House, Jimmy Carter founded the Carter Center, which focuses on human-rights efforts and political mediation.
He has remained active with the center ever since.
Jimmy Carter – a Georgia Democrat – won the Nobel Peace prize for his commitment to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts and his work with human rights and democracy initiatives.
Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, has died at the age of 46, a White House statement has confirmed.
Beau Biden died on Saturday, May 30, after a long battle with brain cancer, CNN reported.
VP Joe Biden said in a statement on Saturday night:
“It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.
The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.
Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.
More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.
In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.”
Joseph R. Biden III, the former attorney general of Delaware and the elder son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., died on in Bethesda, Maryland.
Beau Biden had spent more than a week receiving treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he died.
A new study has suggested that most types of cancer can be put down to bad luck rather than risk factors such as smoking.
The US research team was trying to explain why some tissues were millions of times more vulnerable to cancer than others.
The results, in the journal Science, showed two thirds of the cancer types analyzed were caused just by chance mutations rather than lifestyle.
However some of the most common and deadly cancers are still heavily influenced by lifestyle.
In the US, 6.9% of people develop lung cancer, 0.6% brain cancer and 0.00072% get tumors in their laryngeal cartilage at some point in their lifetime.
Toxins from cigarette smoke could explain why lung cancer is more common.
However, the digestive system is exposed to more environmental toxins than the brain, yet brain tumors are three times as common as those in the small intestine.
The team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health believe the way tissues regenerate is the answer.
Old tired cells in the body are constantly being replaced with new ones made by dividing stem cells.
But with each division comes the risk of a dangerous mutation that moves the stem cell one step closer to being cancerous.
The pace of turnover varies throughout the body with rapid turnover in the lining of the gut and a slower pace in the brain.
The researchers compared how often stem cells divided in 31 tissues in the body over a lifetime with the odds of a cancer in those tissues.
They concluded that two thirds of cancer types were “due to bad luck” from dividing stem cells picking up mutations that could not be prevented.
These cancer types included Glioblastoma (brain cancers), small intestine cancers and pancreatic cancers.
Cristian Tomasetti, an assistant professor of oncology and one of the researchers, said a focus on prevention would not prevent such cancers.
“If two thirds of cancer incidence across tissues is explained by random DNA mutations that occur when stem cells divide, then changing our lifestyle and habits will be a huge help in preventing certain cancers, but this may not be as effective for a variety of others.
“We should focus more resources on finding ways to detect such cancers at early, curable stages.”
The remaining third of cancer types, which are affected by lifestyle factors, viruses or a heightened family risk, include some of the most common:
Basal cell carcinoma – a type of skin cancer made more common by too much UV exposure
Lung cancer – strongly linked to smoking
Colon cancer – increased by poor diet and family risk genes
Two common types of cancer – breast and prostate – were not analyzed as the researchers could not find a consistent rate of stem cell division in those tissues.
Gilmore Girls’ Edward Herrmann has died at the age of 71.
The 6ft 5in star had been diagnosed with brain cancer and was in intensive care in New York before his death on December 31.
Edward Herrmann’s son Rory said in a statement: “He was full of knowledge and kindness and goodness.
“He always wanted to share the great and beautiful things in life.”
Edward Herrmann played the beloved grandfather Richard Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, a waspish family drama set in a storybook Connecticut town.
The actor, who trained at London’s Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, was singled out for praise when Entertainment Weekly picked Gilmore Girls as one of its “new TV classics” in 2009.
However, his son Rory, said his father’s favorite role had been President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom he played in the TV movies Eleanor and Franklin and Eleanor and Franklin: The Whitehouse Years in 1976 and 1977.
Edward Herrmann reprised the role in the 1982 movie musical Annie, and provided the voice for FDR in Ken Burns’ documentary series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, last year.
He also starred in Joel Schumacher’s teen vampire film, The Lost Boys, alongside Kiefer Sutherland, where he played Max; and won a primetime Emmy in 1999 for his guest role in the Boston-based legal series The Practice.
His Broadway credits included the original run of Love Letters in 1989, The Deep Blue Sea with Blythe Danner in 1998 and George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession, for which he won a Tony Award in 1976.
Edward Herrmann often appeared on the big screen in major films including The Wolf of Wall Street, The Aviator and Reds, and recently appeared on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother and The Good Wife.
Terminally ill cancer patient Brittany Maynard, whose viral YouTube video reignited the debate on assisted-suicide, ended her life on November 1.
Brittany Maynard, 29, and her husband moved from California to Oregon, where assisted-suicide has been legal since 1997.
Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill residents to obtain lethal prescriptions from doctors.
Since 1997, 1,173 people were granted lethal prescriptions and 752 patients used it to end their own lives.
Brittany Maynard, who was suffering from a terminal brain cancer, died at home after administering lethal drugs.
She died “in the arms of her loved ones,” a spokesman for the campaign group Compassion & Choices said.
Brittany Maynard suffered from a terminal brain cancer
Sean Crowley said Brittany Maynard was suffering from increasingly severe seizures and head and neck pains which had at times limited her ability to speak.
Following months of treatment and a worsening prognosis, Brittany Maynard made the decision to use Oregon’s laws to obtain a lethal dose of medication which she kept “until the time is right,” as she said in her video.
She received the lethal medication several months ago, and last week in a video posted to her website she said that she was considering delaying her plan.
“I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now,” Brittany Maynard said.
“But it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker.”
Brittany Maynard’s first video went viral and has attracted more than 9 million views on YouTube.
In it she said that she first started experiencing the headaches shortly after getting married.
Assisted suicide is controversial in the US, where it faces staunch opposition from Christian campaign groups, among others.
Stem cells could be turned into killing machines to fight brain cancer, scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered.
In experiments on mice, the stem cells were genetically engineered to produce and secrete toxins which kill brain tumors, without killing normal cells or themselves.
Researchers said the next stage was to test the procedure in humans.
A stem cell expert said this was “the future” of cancer treatment.
The study, published in the journal Stem Cells, was the work of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
For many years, they had been researching a stem-cell-based therapy for cancer, which would kill only tumor cells and no others.
They used genetic engineering to make stem cells that spewed out cancer-killing toxins, but, crucially, were also able to resist the effects of the poison they were producing.
They also posed no risk to normal, healthy cells.
In animal tests, the stem cells were surrounded in gel and placed at the site of the brain tumor after it had been removed.
Their cancer cells then died as they had no defense against the toxins.
Stem cells could be turned into killing machines to fight brain cancer
Dr. Khalid Shah, lead author and director of the molecular neurotherapy and imaging lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said the results were very positive.
“After doing all of the molecular analysis and imaging to track the inhibition of protein synthesis within brain tumors, we do see the toxins kill the cancer cells.”
He added: “Cancer-killing toxins have been used with great success in a variety of blood cancers, but they don’t work as well in solid tumors because the cancers aren’t as accessible and the toxins have a short half-life.”
But genetically engineering stem cells has changed all that, he said.
“Now, we have toxin-resistant stem cells that can make and release cancer-killing drugs.”
Dr. Khalid Shah now plans to test the technique using a number of different therapies on mice with glioblastoma, the most common brain tumor in human adults. He hopes the therapies could be used in clinical trials within the next five years.
Director Tony Scott did not have inoperable brain cancer, despite initial reports a terminal diagnosis was what drove him to commit suicide from a bridge in Los Angeles, his family told authorities the day after his death.
Tony Scott, 68, perhaps best known for Top Gun, was said to have leaped to his death “without hesitation” in an effort to spare his family the pain of watching his slow death, ABC News reported. Hours later, ABC backed away from that report.
The Los Angeles Times confirmed that Tony Scott’s family told the corner’s office Scott did not have cancer – or any major illness.
“The family told us it is incorrect that he has inoperable brain cancer,” Craig Harvey, a chief at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office told the newspaper.
TMZ were the first to report that Tony Scott’s wife Donna told authorities her husband was healthy, according to unnamed sources.
Donna Scott told investigators that rumors of a return of her husband’s cancer was “absolutely false”, TMZ says.
The celebrity news site also claims the preliminary results of an autopsy did not reveal the presence of cancer – though more tests are needed.
Tony Scott’s body was pulled from the water beneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California
The revelation, if proven true, begs the question – what could have driven the successful director, whose films have grossed more than $2 billion, to kill himself?
His older brother, Sir Ridley Scott, is flying from London to Los Angeles to be with Tony’s family.
Tony Scott’s tragic death comes just weeks after he was pictured looking pained as he left a Beverly Hills restaurant on July 23.
Tony Scott had been in hospital earlier this summer and told friends it was for a hip operation. But they knew he had previously kicked cancer and some believe it had come back.
“He has been suffering from cancer and he had a relapse,” a source told the New York Post.
“He wasn’t depressed, he was a lovely guy. On Sundays everyone went to his house, there would be the guy who worked in his local restaurant sitting by the pool by Michael Caine.”
Another source added: “He did have cancer, and for a while he was cancer free. He didn’t have any money problems or marriage problems.”
The beloved filmmaker, who directed movies including Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II and Enemy Of The State and was the younger brother of director Ridley Scott, fell within feet of a cruise boat around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday as horrified tourists watched.
“He landed right next to our tour boat, and many of us saw the whole thing,” a witness, who had been on the cruise around the Los Angeles Harbor, told TMZ.
According to the Contra Costa Times, Tony Scott climbed a fence on the south side of the bridge, which spans San Pedro and Terminal Island, at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and leaped off “without hesitation”.
Several people called 911 around 12:35 p.m. to report that someone had jumped off the bridge, according to Los Angeles police Lt. Tim Nordquist. Police are interviewing witnesses.
A dive team with Los Angeles Port Police pulled the body from the murky water around 3:00 p.m. It was taken to a dock in Wilmington and turned over to the county coroner’s office.
Investigators found a note in Tony Scott’s black Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The note listed names and contact numbers – including that of his wife – so police could call his friends to tell them of his death, TMZ reported.
A suicide note was later found at his office but, while it is said to have been much more detailed than the note in his car, its contents were not revealed.
Simon Halls, a publicist who represents the Scott brothers, confirmed the death.
“The family asks for privacy during this time,” Simon Halls said.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy is planned and results could be expected as early as this afternoon.
The sudden death shook Hollywood and film fans as the successful director apparently had everything to live for.
Tony Scott leaves behind twin sons and his wife Donna, a model and actress who had appeared in some of his films.
He was also in the early stages of developing a sequel to cult classic movie Top Gun with Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. It was set for release in 2014, the L.A. Times reported.
A new study suggests that multiple CT scans in childhood can triple the risk of developing brain cancer or leukaemia.
The Newcastle University-led team examined the NHS medical records of almost 180,000 young patients in UK.
Writing in The Lancet the authors emphasized that the benefits of the scans usually outweighed the risks.
They said the study underlined the fact the scans should only be used when necessary and that ways of cutting their radiation should be pursued.
During a CT (computerized tomography) scan, an X-ray tube rotates around the patient’s body to produce detailed images of internal organs and other parts of the body.
In the first long-term study of its kind, the researchers looked at the records of patients aged under 21 who had CT scans at a range of British hospitals between 1985 and 2002.
Because radiation-related cancer takes time to develop, they examined data on cancer cases and mortality up until 2009.
A new study suggests that multiple CT scans in childhood can triple the risk of developing brain cancer or leukaemia
Brain cancer and leukaemia are rare diseases.
The study estimated that the increased risk translated into one extra case of leukaemia and one extra brain tumour among 10,000 CT head scans of children aged under ten.
Dr. Mark Pearce, an epidemiologist from Newcastle University who led the study, said: “We found significant increases in the risk of leukaemia and brain tumors, following CT in childhood and young adulthood.
“The immediate benefits of CT outweigh the risks in many settings.
“Doses have come down dramatically over time – but we need to do more to reduce them. This should be a priority for the clinical community and manufacturers.”
CT scans are useful for children because anaesthesia and sedation are not required.
This type of check is often ordered after serious accidents, to look for internal injuries, and for finding out more about possible lung disease.
Regulations on their use in the UK mean CT scans should only be done when clinically justified – and the researchers said their study underlined that point.
Professor Sir Alan Craft, a co-author and leading expert in child health, said: “The important thing is that parents can be reassured that if a doctor in the UK suggests a child should have a CT scan, the radiation and cancer risks will have been taken into account.
“There’s a much greater risk of not doing a CT scan when it’s suggested.
“This study will push us to be even more circumspect about using it. We have much stricter rules here about using CT than in the United States, for example.”
Scientists from the University of Southern California say fasting for short periods may help to combat cancer and boost the effectiveness of treatments.
Their study found fasting slowed the growth and spread of tumors and cured some cancers when it was combined with chemotherapy.
It is hoped that the discovery will prompt the development of more effective treatment plans and further research is now under way.
The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that tumor cells responded differently to the stress of fasting compared to normal cells.
Instead of entering a dormant state similar to hibernation, the cells kept growing and dividing, in the end destroying themselves.
Lead researcher Professor Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California said: “The cell is, in fact, committing cellular suicide.
“What we’re seeing is that the cancer cell tries to compensate for the lack of all these things missing in the blood after fasting. It may be trying to replace them, but it can’t.”
Prof. Valter Longo and his team looked at the impact fasting had on breast, urinary tract and ovarian cancers in mice.
Fasting without chemotherapy was shown to slow the growth of breast cancer, melanoma skin cancer, glioma brain cancer and neuroblastoma – a cancer that forms in the nerve tissue.
In every case, combining fasting with chemotherapy made the cancer treatment more effective.
Multiple cycles of fasting combined with chemotherapy cured 20% of those with a highly aggressive form of cancer while 40% with a limited spread of the same cancer were cured.
None of the mice survived if they were treated with chemotherapy alone.
Researchers are already investigating the effects of fasting on human patients, but only a clinical trial lasting several years will confirm if human cancer patients really can benefit from calorie restriction.
However, they highlight that fasting could be dangerous for patients who have already lost a lot of weight or are affected by other risk factors, such as diabetes.
Results of a preliminary clinical trial will be presented at an annual meeting of the American Society of Cancer Oncologists (ASCO) in Chicago this June.
Prof. Valter Longo points out that the study only tests if patients could tolerate short fasts of two days before and one day after chemotherapy.
“We don’t know whether in humans it’s effective,” he said.
“It should be off-limits to patients, but a patient should be able to go to their oncologist and say, <<what about fasting with chemotherapy?>> or without if chemotherapy was not recommended or considered.”
Previous research led by Prof. Valter Longo showed that fasting protected normal cells from the effects of chemotherapy but it did not look at cancer cells.
It is now though fasting may be one way to make tumor cells weaker and more vulnerable.
Prof. Valter Longo added: “A way to beat cancer cells may not be to try to find drugs that kill them specifically but to confuse them by generating extreme environments, such as fasting, that only normal cells can quickly respond to.”