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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  July 22, 2012 7:30am-8:00am EDT

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>> what was it like? did she talk about this? was she -- because at the time, she was measured and calm when i spoke to her, i remember. she couldn't get the medication she needed. did she talk to you about that? >> yeah, absolutely. you know, it's frustrating because you feel like -- you're in this time now in 2012 and you feel like you're in america. why can't you get these -- these drugs that you need to treat something so serious. but she was very open it how serious everything was. and her wishes and how she wanted everything done. >> i mean, there are certain things, michelle, that she wanted to do. one was attend your wedding. she was able to make that. tell me, what was that like for you? >> yes, it was great. we weren't sure until last minute if she would be able to come. she had to fly to get there. we bought her the ticket, hoping it would give her something to look forward to. even if she wasn't going to be able to come. she did. that was just wonderful. >> what was she like -- nicole, you know, just the last few
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months? was she -- i know you said she was in hospice. what was her spirit like? what -- >> for michelle's wedding in april, it was phenomenal. just the change of scenery, being in the bahamas was -- was good for her. but even when she first started off at hospice care, at her house it was great. that's exactly what she wanted. we couldn't have asked for anything better. even when we moved to the hospice house, everything was great. you know, she understood, and we did everything that she wanted. >> i'm going to ask the doctor this question, as well. nicole or michelle, let me ask you, michelle, did she -- did she -- it's hard to ask this almost, but did she think that had she gotten the doxil that she would have survived? >> i think she thought it would have at least put her into remission, maybe save her from taking some the chemo that was detrimental to her that didn't do anything for the cancer. but she had to battle the side effects. i think she definitely thought that she would have had a better
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chance. i don't know -- i know she didn't know if it would actually cure her or, not cure her, but put her in remission again. i think she thought it would at least save her from doing something else that was more detriment detrimental. >> doctor, you and i talked about this last time you joined, obviously, renee on the set. what do you think? you're a -- this is your area of expertise. would it have made a huge difference? you assume it would because that's a medication you wanted. can you say it would have made a huge difference? >> it could have. you know, renee lived with this disease almost six years. she got to go on a boat trip with her family. got to go to the wedding in the bahamas. these are important things. and this drug is the best drug available in that setting. we can't get it, it's frustrating. not only does it interrupt treatment for patients, but you know, we have other drugs that are being investigated for approval in this country. and a big research protocol got put on hold for almost a year and a half because of the
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shortage. >> i want you all to stick around. i'm going to bring in dr. sandy queiter, deputy of the fda center for research office for new drugs. thanks for joining us. you've been listening in on this conversation. i assume it's not the first time you've heard a conversation like this. renee mosher, she was here last november. she couldn't get the medication she needed, doxil. she passed away. her oncologist think it's in part because of not getting that medication. people say this problem is getting worse. the shortages won't be resolved for some time to come. first of all, is that true? >> i think -- made a couple of statements there. i think that there is no quick fix for this shortage problem. there's absolutely no quick fix. and you're right, dr. gupta, i have heard this story many, many times as a practicing physician myself. i've experienced it. i have friends who have experienced it. not just in the sphere of oncology but in other areas of
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medicine, as well. particularly in the anesthesia and pain medicine community. this is a crisis. >> you know, one of the things that people ask immediately is why and why is this happening now. there was a recent report from the house of representatives that largely blamed the fda for the situation saying it shut down companies for what really were minor technical violations. and that was what led to these drugs being unavailable for people like renee. did you foresee or did the fda do you think foresee this possibility? >> well, let me just say very clearly that the report is incorrect. we are not in this situation because fda is shutting down company. fda is part of the solution. the fda's enforcement to ensure high-quality drugs that -- to consumers in the united states which we expect as patients and consumers. the rules for that have not changed. our inspection procedures have not changed. what has changed is that there
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is an aging manufacturing infrastructure. and there are serious quality problems that have required companies to close down in order to fix the problems. >> is the idea -- is the possibility that this will cause a shortage, has that ever taken into account when -- if just say, look, the company has all these problems, the only real answer is they're going to have to shut down. to say, look, the consequences of these lifesaving medications will be available, does the fdaic that into effect? the former fda commissioner told us that fda inspectors in the field say it's not their job to worry about production. >> well, it's our job to worry about it. and -- and we're -- our drug shortages team. and before and when we issue warning letters today, we ask companies very specifically to -- to communicate with us, to talk to us about what their plans are in order to address
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the problem so that we can assess what the potential for a shortage is. and sometimes we can intervene and actually prevent the shortage. >> yeah. you are always -- we always hear about the cases where it didn't work as opposeded to where it did work. >> right. >> that's a good point. doctor, it's something we'd like to stay on top of. i appreciate your candor in joining us today. >> thank you very much, and we are on it. >> thank you. doctor, nicole, michelle, thank you again. telling the story makes such a huge difference. really appreciate it. coming up, we're going to go to the international aids conference where there's now talk of a cure. stay with us. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
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the world's biggest meeting on aids is about to unfold in washington, d.c. the international aids conference brings together top doctors, top researchers, plus government leaders and also people living with hiv. here's something maybe you didn't know. this meeting hasn't been held in the united states since 1990. it couldn't be because people with hiv were forbidden from entering the country. go figure. that ban was lifted in 2009. at this year's meeting, there's a lot going on like research on how to prevent new infections. for the first time in a long time -- and i've attended a lot of these meetings -- we're hearing talk of a cure. experts believe we are getting closer. with aids even the word cure is complicated. he's known as the berlin patient. in 2007 timothy brown was living in germany and battling leukemia and hiv. a bone marrow transplant not only cured his cancer but, incredibly, seemed to cure his
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hiv, as well. >> my blood's been tested by many, many agencies. i've had two cole oonoscopies t see if they could find hiv in my colon. they haven't been able to find any. >> the case is rare, the procedure is extremely dangerous and won't work in most patients because the bone marrow he received had a special genetic mutation which made the stem cells in it naturally resistant to the virus. his doctor specifically looked for a donor with this special mutation, which is only carried by 1% of caucasians. even back then, five years ago, experts were wary of the word cure because hiv is known to hide within the body. and sure enough, last month, research presented at an hiv conference said the virus had resurfaced in brown. experts disagree if the virus ever left. if he was reinfected or if the new traces are just from contamination in the testing
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lab. >> so from a clinical perspective he's cured. >> regardless, researchers believe the overall condition is proof that battling the disease can go beyond daily cocktails. the top scientists are collaborating on a common goal -- finding a real cure for aids. one of those scientists is dr. fran sway baret senucci. she is one of two doctors who won a nobel prize in medicine for discovering hiv. >> in the early years of hiv altogether we can move forward very fast as well as for hiv cure. >> dr. steven dekes is also part of the group. >> most reasonable people say it's at best 50/50 this we're going to get a cure. we don't want to overhype this. we're excited. we think it's possible. we think it's worth pursuing. don't expect anything in the near future. >> a few very preliminary studies are underway. at the conference, french researchers will report on 12 hiv-positive patients who were
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treated immediately after being exposed to the virus. and those results were promising. >> now they're able to naturally control their infection without any treatment anymore. >> other researchers are studying a group of infected men and women whose level of virus is undetectable despite never having drug therapy. the hope is that someday what's in those patients might translate to a cure for others. >> we might hope to you able to cure a few people within ten or 15 years in a sort of cancer treatment tuberculosis treatment kind of model. >> in this discussion, there are two ways to use the word cure. one, where the virus is completely removed. and another where the virus is still present but the patient can no longer infect others. so far, tim brown is as close as they've gotten. now one related story. this week the fda approved the first drug meant to prevent the
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aids infection. it's called truvata and has been approved as a treatment for hiv. studies show it can also stop new infections. of course, this isn't simple. this is a drug with side effects, mostly nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. and serious ones like liver and kidney problems in people. also it's expensive, costs about $14,000 a year. it's not for everyone. truvada is meant for people at very high risk. for example, if your sex partner already has hiv. 's not fail safe so it doesn't replace the need for safe sex. next, an incredible survivor who survived an explosion and fire. now she's helping girls like her to feel comfortable in their own skin.
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lisacurtelly has recently been to legislation and back. at just 9, she was a few feet from a furnace in her grandparents' basement when it exploded in a ball of fire. the house was flattened, but somehow lisa made it out alive. today she runs a camp for little girls who have scars just like hers. >> i was burned at 3 -- >> i was in a car crash, i'm fine now. >> i was in a house fire. i'm good now, thank you. >> i was burned with hot grease. i'm fine now, thank you. >> i had a fire burn accident on halloween. i am healing pretty fast so i can't complain. >> take a close look at each of these beautiful girls. some of their scars are more apparent than others, but they
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have all gathered here to heal together. >> i see them arrive, and they're wounded. they have a social arm around them. and each one of those girls, i see me. >> for lisa, this is personal. she was just 9 years old when she was badly burned in a natural gas explosion at her grandparen grandparents' home in detroit parent's home. >> there was a gas leak for days and my sister and i arrived home for dinner, and i went down to the basement to play hide and go seek. >> reporter: lisa was at the wrong place at the wrong time when the gas met the light on the furnace. >> the explosion goes off and i hear the screams of my family, the horrific screams and a sense of urgency of survival kicks in. i saw a hole in the back of the house at the top of the stairs with really bright light. i just started climbing over bricks and nails and furniture and everything to get out. i got out of the house still on
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fire, and my back and my face and my hair. this is where the rubber meets the road, girls. >> reporter: lisa founded the angel faces retreat now in the ninth year to teach these young women in one week what took her two decades to come to grip with. they begin by sharing the good, the bad and the downright ugly. >> i want to hear from you girls just brick it on all outm so of the names that you are called. hideo hideous, burn face, crusty crab, burn bitch. >> they call us burnt toast. >> reporter: each girl participating in mer therapy and arts and crafts and even sports and learn how to correct their scars with corrective cosmetics.
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>> we tell the girls, there is nothing but taking what you have that is beautiful and make it more beautiful. sometimes that is all it takes. >> reporter: she urges the girls to tell their stories to respond to ton invited stares of strangers. >> it is important for the girls to know they are not burn survivors, but important the know they are the not the burn girl, but they are girls first, and that's my message to the girls that i want them to take bac back. >> you know, lisa says that the most important thing for these girls is good eye contact and simple smile. like all of us, they want to be acknowledged for who they are on the inside. great story. coming up, how to outsmart a sensitive stomach. we are chasing life with a top olympic swimmer. that is next. [ buzz ] off to work! did you know honey nut cheerios is america's favorite cereal? oh, you're good! hey, did you know that honey nut cheerios is... oh you too! ooh, hey america's favorite cereal is...
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three, two, one -- liftoff. liftoff with the tma carrying sunny williams and okiyoshimo. >> there she is taking off from kazakhstan, and suni is a fitness junkie, and last week we showed you my visit to the
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johnson space center, and suni has challenged me to a fitness triathlon. and between now and the 16th, we will see how her training is going on. good luck, suni. you know, "chasing life" today i want to talk about bad reactions to certain foods, foods with gluten. the olympic games start next weekend and some of the big events start in the pool. today, one of the top gold medal contenders forrer the united states is also sensitive to gluten. for years, it was holding her back and the thing is that she didn't even know it. >> reporter: dana volmer will be
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racing in the olympics. and it is a bitter comeback after she failed to qualify for the olympic trials. >> it seemed like in my career, i always had something. >> reporter: at one point there was a heart condition, an acl injury and shoulder pain and back pain and also mysterious stomach aches. >> i had been to the emergency room three times at meets for stomach aches. >> reporter: doctors at first could not figure out what was wrong. turns out vollmer was allergic to gluten found in eggs and wheat and barley. gluten is a challenge, but it is one opponent she knows how to beat. >> i want to put up a great race and a gold medal is definitely on my mind. >> now, if you need to eat a gluten-free diet, read the labels very carefully, because gluten protein is in a lot of ods that you would not expect like soy sauce and salad
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dressings. that is going to wrap it up for sgmd. let's keep the conversation going on twitter at cnn p now, let's get a check of the now, let's get a check of the top stories. -- captions by vitac -- good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye, and it is 8:00 on the east coast and 6:00 a.m. here in aurora, colorado, where this small town and the entire country are united in shock and grief and joyful and excited fans had packed a movie theater here for a night of fun, but for 12 people, it is the last night of their lives. over the next weeks and months, we will hear more about suspected shooter james holmes and tomorrow he will make a court appearance and likely the first of many. you will hear his name over and over and usually, it is the
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suspected killer that gets most of the attention. eric harris and derrick klebold from columbincolumbine, and and vick from norway and in fact, today is one year anniversary of that killing. but the names we should be hearing are the names of the victims. we want to start this morning by remembering those who lost their lives friday morning as told by those people they left behind. >> it is not surprising to me that his first thought would be her. i mean, that is what a man does, he protects his loved ones. i'm very proud of him. we are going to miss him.


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