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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  December 8, 2013 4:30am-5:01am PST

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we'll see you back at the top of the hour, 8:00 eastern for another hour of "new day sunday." >> first surprising good news about the search for cure for cancer and treatment for cancer. sanjay gupta m.d. starts right now. welcome. i have this half hour, unbelievable story i'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around. it's about this one, carol ann, her twists and turns an descent into the depth of addiction. show you what happened to her and how many pills were part of her deadly dose. i can't tell you how often i hear this. it's too expensive to be healthy. you know what, we decided to put a dollar amount on this. i promise you, the numbers will surprise you. news about a strategy to help cancer patients when nothing else worked. cnn medical correspondent.
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>> what is left for us to do as far as your learners permit. >> reporter: a year ago he wasn't sure if he would ever get to teach his son to drive a real car. >> i really wanted to learn. >> reporter: nick, who is 15, has had leukemia since he was 4 years old. he tried chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from his sister. both failed. >> there was a moment there where i thought that was it. he probably wouldn't live much longer. >> reporter: nick's last hope was an experimental treatment, a clinical trial at the university of pennsylvania. >> when they start talking about doing clinical trials as the alternative. that's when you're really throwing hail mary's. >> how did it feel as a mom knowing this is it. >> just not knowing what's going to happen, it's hard. >> one day we were in his room and i just wanted him to
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understand where we were at. this was probably the last treatment. >> were you, in fact, telling him if this treatment didn't work -- >> he could die. >> in the treatment nick's doctor tweaked his immune system to make his own body rid itself of cancer. it's a ground breaking approach that captured attention of cancer doctors but there were no promises. nick received personalized cell therapy in may. for a month john and lisa watched over their son. >> do you remember that moment where she said, hey, this appears to be working. >> they came back and said we don't see it in the cells. i thought, this is definitely working. we're headed down the right path. >> reporter: exactly how it works is complicated but nick is good at explaining it. >> they took out t cells out of my body and engineered them to track down the cancer cells and kill them off? >> did they get him? >> i hope so.
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i'm feeling good now. i think they did pretty well. >> watch as this gray cancer killing cell on the left attacks the green cancer cell which gets smaller and eventually dies. doctors tried this in 59 patients, 25 are now cancer-free. >> our hopes are eventually he will be cured. he can put aside this and start moving forward. >> i just want him to be able to enjoy a normal kid's life. >> his biggest thing right now is he's looking forward to getting his learner's permit. >> soon, instead of playing with toy cars, john will get the chance to teach his son how to drive a real one. >> you went from having cancer to now they can't even find it. how does that feel? >> really great. >> here with me now is my good friend senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen. these are patients for whom nothing else worked. is there some way to
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characterize what this offenses them. >> these patients relapsed twice. i asked doctors is this relapse different. he's in remission for the third time. they said, elizabeth, we can't promise that, we don't know. but there's some reason to be hopeful. when they look at nicholas's bone marrow they can see the t cells are there and robust. they are hoping that gives him -- >> given that's a more permanent, a more durable treatment. >> exactly. >> you're essentially reengineering your body's immune system. t cells are the fighter cells of the body. how do they do that? >> they take t cells out of your body and then they engineer them. what they do, they take an hiv virus of all things and they disable it. they use that disabled virus to bring in almost like a trojan horse, to bring new dna into your t cells. that dna makes the t cell smarter. the t cell can see cancer.
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won it can see cancer, it can attack cancer. >> it's so important. if you make t cells more robust it can attack a lot of things. here it's designed the cancer. >> chemotherapy attacks everything which is why people's hair falls out and they are so sick. these just attack cancer, you're programming them in a certain way. >> nice to report good news. >> it is. >> hopefully be more available. thank you, elizabeth. as the world celebrates nelson mandela i want to recall the work he did in his retirement, raising awareness and fighting aids in south africa. i got a chance to meet nelson mandela back at the aids conference a few years ago and it was all he talked about. his own eldest son was infected with hiv when he died in 2005. after leaving office mandela started a foundation. he fought for access to treatment, fought for access to medicine and spoke openly about the disease that was once complete tabu in the country as
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it was in so many places around the world. over the last decade, new infections in south africa have gone down by nearly a third. today one in five adults still has the virus and much work still needs to be done. coming up, addiction like you've never seen it before. you'll meet the prominent physician who some say was writing painkiller prescriptions with reckless abandon. without it, the virus spreads from cell to cell. unlike other treatments, abreva penetrates deep to block the virus, to protect healthy cells so cold sores heal fast. as fast as 2 1/2 days when used at the first sign. ♪ learn more at don't tough it out. knock it out! fast. [ female announcer ] only with abreva. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy.
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♪ okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt? [ japanese accent ] aflac. love it. [ under his breath ] hate it. helps you focus on getting back to normal? [ as a southern belle ] aflac. [ as a cowboy ] aflac. [ sassily ] aflac. uh huh. [ under his breath ] i am so fired. you're on in 5, duck. [ male announcer ] when you're sick or hurt, aflac pays you cash. find out more at a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies,
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celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, like celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. don't take celebrex if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or had an asthma attack, hives, other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex.
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for a body in motion. john dies every 19 minutes from a precipitation drug overdose, most involve painkillers. part of the problem, painkillers in this country are being written at a furious pace. dr. lynn webster is considered a leader in the field of pain management. he's president of the american academy of pain medicine. >> over 100 million americans experiencing chronic pain. >> he's author of a scoring system used by doctors. he's founder of this pain
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clinic. >> his methods of incorporated into almost every single program prescribi prescribing, accepted by the fda. >> if you start to ask around a little bit, you'll learn his reply taking among families is astonishingly different. >> his reply takiutation is he' as dr. death. that's how your wife's doctor is prescribed. dr. death. >> multiple overdpoess at the pain clinic which webster now ran for a decade hover over him. >> aemgs of and precipitations written as cause of death. his wife first went to the pain clinic in 2008. years earlier her car had been broadsided. >> she did not have the seat
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belt fatstened and went through the windshield. >> she managed pain with low doses of painkillers. that would change when a friend suggested carol ann go to the life tree clinic. within a few weeks of becoming a patient o. >> carol ann was pretty much hooked. >> when you say hooked, hooked on what. >> she was hooked on the pain medicine. she needed it. >> this is what she was prescribed a painkiller and anxiety medication, between 100 and 120 a month. fast forward a year, receives prescribed seven different drugs, painkillers, anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants, all tolled about 600 pills a month. the same steep climb in medication was allegedly seen among other patients who died after getting care at life tree. this case describes a medical
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malpractice filed against webster and life tree. a 42-year-old prescribed 200 pills a month when she first started at life tree. that's a little more than six pills a day. seven years later just before she died of an overdose, she was taking 1,158 pills per month or about 40 each day. at the bosley home a sad spectacle unfolding. >> many times we ended up in the emergency room fearing she was going to die. >> bosley said he would regularly come home from work with carol ann unconscious and barely breathing. >> you took pictures of your wife. >> yes. >> must have been hard. >> very hard. >> bosley said he tried to show the photos to the doctor and staff members. he tried calling to vent
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frustrations. he was shiite down with staff citing patient privacy and hipaa. >> you weren't so much asking for information as you wanted to provide it. >> i said i am not asking for information. i was given the hipaa excuse and that was the end of it. >> what does dr. webster have to say about the claims against him and his clinic. despite our best efforts, not much. he did respond to lawsuits voching his clinic and denied responsibility for the death. we called the spokesperson. >> we certainly want to give him the opportunity to comment and respond to some of this. >> he declined our interview so we decided to go straight to him. i'm in boston at an event where dr. lynn webster is going to be speaking. we repeatedly asked for an interview and through his spokesman he has repeatedly declined. so we decided to come here and ask him ourselves in person. >> dr. webster, sanjay gupta
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with cnn. i wonder if i could ask a couple of questions. we've tried to reach out to the team. >> i have an appointment. >> can we talk afterward. >> i have an appointment afterward. >> after the appointment can you talk to us? can i walk with you, to your appointment? will you answer a couple of questions for us? >> no. >> you don't want to answer questions? >> no. >> we did get a statement. in it dr. webster said the clinic treated difficult and complicated people with pain with the highest standard of care. he went on it call the deaths a tragedy of the worst kind, for patients to die not as a result of treatment but in spite of it. >> she was doing great. she was up to walking almost five miles a day. >> several months after starting at life tree, carol ann bosley kicked the opioids. >> she lost weight. she was managing her pain on tylenol only. >> soon afterward, carol ann got a call. >> she said dr. webster has
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requested that we come down, both of us come down and meet with him. >> to ray bosley's surprise, during the appointment he suggested carol ann get back on narcotic painkillers. >> my response to him was, my wife is addicted. >> about a year after that appointment, after taking his advice, carol ann bosley overdosed again. this time it was fatal. carol ann's story does not end there. weeks after her death, the medical examiner had ruled her death a suicide. >> i said, why did you label it suicide. well, i called dr. webster. he told me she committed suicide. why do you have to call dr. webster to get a diagnosis? shouldn't the diagnosis be based on the evidence in front of you? >> the utah medical examiner's office say webster didn't have any influence over carol ann's stated cause of death, which
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makes what happened next even more puzzling. >> five weeks later i got a revised autopsy report. cause of death, undetermined. >> was there an explanation? they just changed it? it's been four years since carol ann bosley died. her husband still wonders why his pleas for help to the staff at life tree and especially lynn webster fell on deaf ears. >> you blame dr. webster for your wife's death? >> i do. to this day, i regret i did not go down there and find him. i would have pinned him to the wall, and i would have made him listen. then i would have warned him with his life. leave my wife alone. >> i'll tell you, some of the family members of patients who died of overdoses after receiving treatment at life tree did file lawsuits against dr. lynn webster.
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in response to those cases, dr. webster continues to deny all the allegation against him. up next, healthy eating. a lot of people tell me it's simply too expensive to do. we're going to show you how you can do it without breaking the bank. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. this is the age of taking action. viagra. talk to your doctor. of taking action. life with crohn's disease ois a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps come back? what if the plane gets delayed? what if i can't hide my symptoms? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need,
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talk to your doctor and visit to get your complimentary q&a book, with information from experts on your condition.
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and our giant idaho potato truck is still missing. so my dog and i we're going to go find it. it's out there somewhere spreading the good word about idaho potatoes and raising money for meals on wheels. but we'd really like our truck back, so if you see it, let us know, would you? thanks. what? welcome back to the program. you know, we say this all the time, eating healthy is the key to preventing chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
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it also comes with the price. $1.50 more a day. that adds up to $550 more per year. meat is more expensive for the health iier versions. grains and dairy have less of a price difference. how can you eat healthy on the cheap? >> one way to make your meat dollars go further is by adding beans to the meat. that way can you use less meat for more food. >> that's one strategy. and, of course, it's worth pointing out that money is only one challenge as well. cooking healthy also takes time. but this is a shower fiure fire get more bang for your buck. >> now tuesday a federal judge ruled the city of detroit is eligible for the largest municipal bankruptcy in u.s. history. i'll tell you something you may not think about. this is a decision that could affect the pensions of thousands
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of former public servants including retired firefighter brendan maluski. >> this is the actual 911 cam from august 13, 2010. >> the roof has collapsed. we need everybody here, now. >> it's a day that began like any other, but one that would change brendan maluski's life forever. >> i remember we were working on the facade of the building and somebody, you know, yelled some sort of caution and bricks were kind of raining down in front of my face. and you're taught in a collapse situation to run towards the collapse. but your hugh human instirvegts took over. >> brendan new right away has career as one of detroit's bravest was over. >> you see the war movies like
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"saving private ryan" when the guys are in combat and you lose sound. you can't hear anything. and it was exactly like that. i tried to place my hands on the ground in front of me and do a pushup. when i did that pushup, i couldn't slide my knees to my chest. i knew instantly what happened. i was paralyzed and had a spinal cord injury. >> here we go. >> brandon now spends three hours a day, three days a week here at the rehabilitation institute of michigan, working to make the most of what muscles he still has control over. >> it's perfect. >> okay. >> there are day wlz i question whether or not i'm okay mentally. but to me it's simple. i learned early on that i have a voice through this. and i have something to say. i have a message. >> dugy as he's known to fire
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fighting family, because he jind the department when he was just 20 years old, is even few toured in "burn." >> well, what happens to dugy in the movie is something that i think a lot of people would consider tragic. his response to what happens to him is heroic. >> as much as i hate that it's me and my story, i think that something we need to open up people's eyes to. >> you know, michigan is my home. i can tell you arson is really an all too common problem, especially in detroit. the two men who started that fire received 8 and 15-year prison sentences. so they'll be released this decade. brendan will still more than likely be confined to his wheelchair. take a few minutes this weekend if you can and log on to and read brandon's inspirational blog in his own words there. a check of your top stories minutes away. still ahead, better health, it's not just about obama care, it's about you.
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does health insurance actually make you healthier? well, the truth is that really you're the only person who can truly make yourself healthier. insurance can help. doctors can help. but unless you listen to them, it really is not going to make a difference. there was a fascinating study that came out of oregon where
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they compared people who recently got medicaid health insurance to people who were uninsured. what they found is that people who had insurance, they did go to the doctor more often. they even got more care. but when they studied the two populations, they did not find that people with insurance were, in fact, any healthier. i think there is something else as well as a doctor, the peace of mind that people have when they have insurance, i don't know how you can substitute for that. it is something that allows people to sleep and night and make sure they can put food on the table for their families and live a more productive life. if all of us americans exercise 30 minutes a day, that's it, 30 minutes a day, we all did that, we could cut down the risk of heart disease and strokes by a third. just think about that. there is no drug, there's no insurance, there's really nothing else in our society that is going to have that kind of impact. but again, it's us. i'm not asking you to turn your whole life on your head, asking for 30 minutes a day to make america a more healthy place.
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throughout my whole take on this go, to i wrote an op-ed there. much more news now with "new day sunday." >> until this really stops, i don't think we'll see any improvement at all. >> it's not over. just as the south begins to thaw from a massive ice storm, a new system moves into the northeast bringing snow, sleet, and ice. the bulls eye for this wicked weather? our nation's capital. ♪ >> it's a dare of prayer in south africa as the country mourns the loss of a legend. we're live in johannesburg, remembering mandela. and some dysfunction to


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