Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer with no cure. Even with surgery and chemotherapy, patients typically live only 12-18 months after diagnosis.
But a new discovery from Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Rheal Towner, Ph.D., offers new hope in fighting this deadly cancer, which claimed the lives of Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy.
In pre-clinical experiments at OMRF, Towner discovered that a protein called ELTD1 is present in the most aggressive glioblastoma tumors. Towner then tested how the tumors would react to an antibody known to counteract the effects of ELTD1.
He found that the compound slowed the process of angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, which is key to tumors’ ability to spread and kill.
“This drug seems just as promising, if not better than, what is currently considered the standard of care,” said Towner. “Few therapies exist for treating glioblastoma, but this could provide a step in the right direction.”
If proven effective in further trials, said Towner, “This could provide overall treatment with fewer side effects and better results than we see in current drugs.”
The new findings were published in the journal NeuroOncology.
Towner will continue to look for ways to use the new treatment in combination with other drugs to boost their effectiveness and better target tumors.
“One problem with drug treatments for tumors is that it’s hard to get the drug to the tumor site,” he said. “If we can regulate that process with targeting ELTD1, we might be able to use it to deliver other drugs directly to the tumor and, hopefully, eliminate it.”
If researchers succeed with this tumor-targeting method, Towner said they will begin testing it on other tumors associated with breast, pancreatic or other cancers.
Funding for this research was provided by National Institute of General Medical Sciences, grant number 5P20GM103636-02, and Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the NIGMS, grant number 5P20GM103639. The NIGMS is part of the National Institutes of Health.

by Major Lesley Norman, Risk Reduction Officer, Oklahoma City Fire Department

At the beginning of the year, we set goals to make positive improvements in your lives. Most people never consider improving safety around their residents. The Oklahoma City Fire Department (OKCFD) has a few safety suggestions for 2019. Ensure the following safety recommendations are completed to provide a safer year for you and your family at home.
Smoke alarms should be installed inside each bedroom/sleeping area and one outside those areas. Smoke alarms should also be installed on every level of the home including basements. The Oklahoma City Fire Department “Project Life” smoke alarm program allows Firefighters to install smoke alarms at no charge for qualifying residents of Oklahoma City. Contact 405-316-2337, or to request smoke alarms. Residents outside of Oklahoma City can contact your local fire department or Red Cross. The hearing impaired can contact the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), 888-885-5588 or email OkAT will install smoke alarms with strobe lights and bed shaker for qualifying Oklahoma residents. Apply at
Carbon Monoxide alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas created from incomplete combustion of natural gas, propane, methane or gasoline. Running vehicles and generators also produce CO. Make sure gas appliances are professionally serviced every year to avoid possible CO leaks inside your home.
Fire extinguishers should be located in a kitchen, garage or both, ready to extinguish small fires. If there are smokers in the home, consider additional locations. Small “ABC” extinguishers can be purchased from the local department store and are disposable. Review the manufacturers’ recommendation for a disposal date. Always call 911 or have someone call 911 before extinguishing a fire. When using the extinguisher apply the PASS method for extinguishment, stand six to eight feet from the fire. P – pull the pin, A – aim low at the base of the fire, S – squeeze the lever slowly, S – sweep from side to side. An OKCFD training video is available at or follow instructions provided with the extinguisher.
Fire drills should be practiced monthly while testing your smoke alarm. The OKCFD has a program called “EDITH,” Exit Drills In The Home. The EDITH program’s purpose is to inspire residents to develop an exit plan for their home. The exit plan should include two ways out of every bedroom, a meeting place outside the home, and practicing the fire drill. Practice your exit plan around your mobility and the plan should be shared with everyone sleeping in your home.
Fall prevention measures should include installing grab bars inside your home if you or other family members have a fall risk. Suggested location for grab bars is near toilets and bathtubs. Make sure you have a clear path to the restroom from your sleeping area. Use your walking aid or lift chair on those days you feel weaker than normal. Speak with your physician if your strength starts to fade. Begin this year making fire and fall safety improvements a priority in your life.
* According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or the alarms are not working.”
Additional fire safety information is available at

By Ron Hendricks

Hearing Loss Association of America Central Oklahoma Chapter’s December/January coat drive is a resounding success. We had a goal of 25 coats and exceeded that by almost 50%! Chapter members delivered almost 3 dozen coats to the City Rescue Mission and learned about the Mission’s goals to help eliminate homelessness. City Rescue Mission has 640 beds for women with children, single women, and men. The Mission provides meals, a safe and clean environment, and many programs such as education, employment, and recovery to help their clients live successfully in the world today. Sounds like the HLAA mission — to help those with hearing loss live successfully in the hearing world. A warm coat can help both groups to become successful citizens of Oklahoma. Thank you to all who participated in this effort.

INTEGRIS is joining other hospitals and health centers around the country in a national effort to produce a stable supply of generic drugs. The venture is designed to address the growing frustration caused by persistent shortages of simple yet vital medications.
Utah-based not-for-profit generic-drug company Civica Rx is spearheading the initiative. “Drug shortages have become a national crisis, with patient treatments and surgeries canceled, delayed or suboptimal,” says Martin VanTrieste, chief executive officer of Civica Rx. “We thank these organizations for joining us to make essential generic medicines accessible and affordable in hospitals across the country.”
The benefit of the Civica Rx initiative is expected to be two-fold. Hospitals will not only have access to generic drugs that are frequently in short supply, but they will also be able to purchase those medications at a reduced cost. A savings that can then be passed along to patients.
“We are excited to be a partnering member in this venture,” says Tommy, Ibrahim, M.D., chief physician executive at INTEGRIS. “We enjoy a proud tradition of being a leading-edge health care provider known for a pioneering spirit that has paved the way for many medical firsts and technological advancements. We believe this initiative is another example of that. It is an innovative approach to providing quality, accessible, more affordable medicine to the citizens of Oklahoma.”
Civica Rx plans to bring 14 hospital-administered generic drugs to market in 2019. The overall vision is to become a model generic drug company that provides high-quality Food and Drug Administration-approved products at affordable prices.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.

As new state leaders are sworn in today, John D. Doak reflects on his eight years as Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner. Doak was elected the state’s 12th insurance commissioner in 2010 and was re-elected for a second term in 2014.
“I’m honored that Oklahomans chose to elect me to represent them, both in terms of insurance company solvency and ensuring fair claims handling,” Doak said. “I’ve been privileged to witness the courage and resilience of Oklahomans in the face of difficult natural disasters. It’s also been a pleasure to work with our state Legislature and governor and to travel to every one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, meeting and working with the people who live there.”
During his tenure, Doak has tirelessly worked to raise awareness of the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) and how it can help Oklahomans. He started a field representative program to reach every corner of the state. He also made it a mission to have boots on the ground as soon as possible after a disaster. Many times Doak himself would visit with storm victims to reassure them that his office was there to help, if needed.
Another issue Doak worked on during his time in office was lowering the rate of uninsured motorists. Oklahoma has one of the highest rates in the country. Just a few months ago, the OID announced it would host the Auto Insurance Verification System which allows law enforcement to verify a driver has insurance in real time.
“One of my proudest accomplishments is that, as I leave the OID, it is now being recognized as a global leader in insurance regulatory issues,” Doak said.
Doak’s recognition that government must be ready to accept new and innovative ideas and products has helped frame that thinking. His belief that the OID should not only to protect consumers but allow the free market process to bring new quality products to consumers is recognized by many leaders worldwide.
More of Doak’s accomplishments include:
*Recovering $27,675,828 for Oklahomans since 2011
*The passage of House Bill 2308 which allows the OID to construct and own an office building
*OID employees earning more than 160 professional designations
*Co-hosting the National Tornado Summit since 2011
*The passage of the Insurance Business Transfer law
*Developing an earthquake education requirement for insurance professionals
*Testifying before a U.S. Senate sub-committee about insurance fraud
*Helping launch the University of Tulsa Cyber District
“I wish the best to the new leaders of our state, Gov. Kevin Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready,” Doak said. “Commissioner Mulready has already proven that he is a dedicated public servant with expertise in the insurance industry, and he will continue that tradition in this new role.”

Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor
Feb 7/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
Feb 8/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
S.W. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10
Feb 13/ Wednesday/ Warr Acres/ 8:30 am – 3 pm/ 789-9892/ Kruck
Warr Acres Community Center – 4301 N. Ann Arbor Ave.
Feb 15/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm/ 470-8963/ Kruck
Baptist Village – 9700 Mashburn Blvd.
Feb 26/ Thursday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 307-3177/ Palinsky Norman Regional Hospital – 901 N. Porter Ave.
Mar 7/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
Mar 8/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
S.W.Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas , Suite B-10
Mar 9/ Saturday/ Midwest City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 473-8239/ Williams
First Christian Church – 11950 E. Reno Ave.
Mar 12/ Tuesday/ Midwest City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Rose State Conventional Learning Ctr – 6191 Tinker Diagonal, room 203

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to: