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While most coronaviruses cause common cold, three have become more dangerous, crossing species to people: the first was SARS CoV in 2003 and the latest to “make the jump” — SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes “Coronavirus Disease 2019” or COVID-19. According to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, there was a large, late-season spike in U.S. “flu-like” illness, raising the unsettling possibility that the novel corona virus may have been here earlier than initially thought.

FRONTLINE CANCER: Some of you may recall what I hope was a heartwarming holiday column about one family, a doctor and their unified hope for a new beginning (in the Dec. 26, 2018 La Jolla Light, “Frontline Cancer : The season for family, health, hope and new beginnings” at lajollalight.com/scott-lippman/cm-ljl-frontline-cancer-jan3-2019-20190102-story.html) I’d like to update you on their journey and share an amazing story of an uncommon partnership in rare disease that has accelerated strategic alliances and rare cancer research, specifically SDH-deficient Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) research, all in the last three years.

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FRONTLINE CANCER: Among the many ways that cancer can confound successful treatment is its ability to draw upon some of the strengths and defenses of healthy cells and tissues, exploiting them to boost its resistance to therapy and its chances of survival.

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