Bruce Feiler remembers how he felt in May 2008. "I was a healthy person," and he was on the top of the world. Happily married, father to twin girls and a best-selling author. His book "Walking the Bible" was celebrated, and it gave him the nickname, "The Walking Guy." He made a living exploring the world, literally walking in other people's shoes.
About a year ago, I wrote a column for Tennis magazine about Ashley Hendrick, then a top high school player in Grand Rapids, Mich. In the summer of 2006, she struggled with her game because of a sharp pain in her leg. She figured it was the result of overplaying. In fact, she was suffering from osteosarcoma, a potentially fatal form of bone cancer.
An Amgen trial drug -- called denosumab -- reached a new milestone on July 7 when the biotechnology company announced results from the latest clinical trial of the drug for bone cancer. The trial of more than 2,000 patients showed DMab -- which works to slow bone destruction, a primary concern for people with advanced cancer and the cause of a myriad of complications, including fractures -- delayed the time it took for damage to occur when compared to rival drug Zometa, which is made by Novartis. Amgen has already submitted DMab to the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for osteoporosis.
Mark Windsor looks exhausted. For a week he's been undergoing radiation treatment on a cancerous tumor in his neck. A metal rod fused to his spine keeps his head stable. His muscles there are gone, the result of multiple failed surgeries to rid him of his disease. He can't turn his head sideways or look up or down. So his look stays fixed, despite his fatigue.