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   310 episodes



Finding Genius Podcast

Richard Jacobs

310 episodes

May 28, 2021

Cancer's Quest for Homeostasis and Self Awareness - Discussing What Makes Cancer Tick with William Miller Jr. 

Is studying cellular community ecology the next direction cancer research will take? By gaining insight into the behavior of cancer cells, new treatments may be uncovered. Press play to learn:

  • If cancer is an intelligent entity within the body
  • How cancer cells cooperate and compete 
  • How a cell shifts from benign to aggressive behavior

Evolutionary Biologist, William Miller Jr., shares his insight into the motivation of cancer cells and how it may shape the course of the disease and treatment.

By examining cancer through the lens of a separate and self-aware group of cells, we may finally be able to understand the motivation of cancer's spread throughout the body. Cancer cells even go as far as cooperating with various systems and tissues throughout the body to achieve homeostasis.

Since every cancer has a unique tumor microbiome, it has specific triggers that cause it to grow, spread, or adapt as its conditions change. By considering factors such as these, treatment can be focused less on interrupting the cell cycle and moving more toward finding alternative therapies.

Visit for more information. Episode also available on Apple Podcasts:

May 27, 2021

The Strongest Medicine: Cancer Treatment Insights with Dr. Steven Eisenberg 

“I went into oncology because I was fascinated by the human side of cancer,” says Dr. Eisenberg. This motivation gives him a unique focus while struggling alongside his patients searching for a cancer cure. He talks about not leaving his patients’ humanity out of the picture of cancer cells, and how that ultimately provides an effective medicine. Listen and learn

  • How he sets the tone at his first patient meeting and what measures he takes to keep that connection during treatment,
  • Why doctors are facing burnout and how keeping empathy and connection front and center can speak to that struggle,
  • Why patient engagement and physician enrollment are vital, and
  • How the mind-body connection can be an ally for a physician and patient.

Oncologist Dr. Steven G. Eisenberg is the author of the new book Love is the Strongest Medicine. He shares the impetus behind the book, including stories of patient interactions and his own burnout and cancer diagnosis that propelled him to a healthier way to be with his patients. He emphasizes the importance of eye contact and dialogue, especially when patients are facing a diagnosis of cancer and negative emotions that accompany it. He says, “You've got to share your true self, your highest self with that human being that’s suffering in front of you. . . . You refuel your compassion stores, when you break down the wall between doctor and patient.”

He’s also treating and helping doctors with what he says is some of the worst burnout numbers we’ve seen. The pressures of success, the tangle of paperwork, and the fear-draining emotions combine to make it a hard atmosphere for doctors. He’s actually starting a support group called Doctors without Burnout to speak to this trend and help doctors find their motivation again. His approach is about finding the humanity in both the patient and doctor. When interacting with patients, he says, “Well, if I could make someone smile, if I could make them feel a little bit better, even 1% better than they did before they walked in that office that day,” then he’s practiced an important part of medicine. Listen in for more inspiration. Episode also available on Apple Podcasts:

May 25, 2021

The Little Brain in Our Gut: Dr. Emeran Mayer's New Book on Gut Brian Interactions 

"Who eats first?" Richard asks Dr. Emeran Mayer as the researcher discusses his new book about the gut-immune connection. The answer is as complex as gut health and immune system interactions, but also just as fascinating. Listen and learn

Dr. Emeran Mayer's discusses his latest book, The Gut-Immune Connection: How Understanding the Connection Between Food and Immunity Can Help Us Regain Our Health. He digs deep on some of this timely book's topics, including the ties between our emotions and gut processes. The trillions of microbes producing their own chemicals, or metabolites make for quite a "bi-directional dialogue," he explains. Neurotransmitters throw another element into the mix and the food we bring in completes this intense conversation between our gut and brain.

Who does eat first? Well, it's not a one-answer question, explains Dr. Mayer, because different microbes eat different foods. "With a typical standard American diet," he says, "most of it would be absorbed in that very beginning of the small intestine, because everything is processed with very little fiber . . . but if you eat a diet like our ancestors used to eat . . . much higher in fiber . . .  it has to travel down." And, it turns out, which microbes get fed the most affects how our body responds, and ultimately, our health. Listen in for more about this integral and fundamental connection. Episode also available on Apple Podcasts:

May 25, 2021

Strides Down Different Avenues of Cancer Research with Brendon Coventry 

"Everything's a chemical interaction, isn't it?"  says Brendon Coventry, as he describes how lymphocytes are affected by a chemical released from tumor cells that mutes their response. The challenge he and other researches face is how to work within these reactions towards effective cancer prevention and suppression strategies rather than irrelevant efforts. He addresses some exciting therapies, like immunotherapy, and what researchers understand about the nature of tumors. Listen and learn

Brendon Coventry is an associate professor of surgery in Adelaide, South Australia. He's spoken with Richard in previous interviews, and always brings a keen perspective to the latest research. In particular he addresses the "notion of immunotherapy" and the extensive studies trying to pinpoint optimum timing, such as pre-surgical oncology treatment versus post-surgery. He also brings listeners up to speed on a cytotoxic chemotherapy procedure called neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which is a chemotherapy process delivered before other treatment to reduce the tumor size.

But obviously, any approach to cancer treatment is full of challenges, and he explains some of the reasons why. He says, "We're trying to sort out some keys to unlock how we might deliver treatment. And this is showing us some insights into the tumor microenvironment, how tumors are behaving, and what sort of ways the immune system might be able to be manipulated." He explains what the often-described heterogeneity of tumors means, and why, while researchers can show the lineage of how breast cancer may have spread to the lung, actual tumor cells are much more genetically different from other than, say, liver cells are compared to each other. That's a big part of the challenge for treatment. Listen in to hear how researchers hope to meet this challenge and others. Episode also available on Apple Podcasts:

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