June 1998

The New World Order

By Michael J. Katin, MD

Many believers in fringe philosophies have settled on the year 2000 as the critical year for the initiation of a new world order. This was decided even before it was realized that the Millennium Bug would result in the end of life as we know it, causing computer systems in aircraft, information systems, and even the things in your car that set off warning lights that we don't understand to all come to a dysfunctional halt.

Ironically, it appears that 1998 is a far more likely candidate to be the year in which all our beliefs are overturned and only the most adaptable and sleazy can survive. The breakup of the Spice Girls was predicted by Nostradamus himself and should have served as a sign to even the most skeptical. However, none of this is relevant (or even interesting) as long as it does not affect our individual miserable daily livelihoods, but there has now come the warning sign that those of us in our field have already lived beyond our allotted time, like the passenger pigeon.

This may have been the first day in the past three weeks that I have not been accosted by a patient asking for me to use my Boston connections to obtain angiostatin (I have the impression that endostatin might be acceptable). This would therefore also be the first day in weeks that I didn't have to go through the long explanation that this type of treatment is not only highly investigational but also highly unobtainable. This, of course, only serves to make it more exotic and more highly desirable, just like spice in "Dune." (please note clever tie-in to paragraph #2)

I will again be asked tomorrow about angiostatin and endostatin and regardless of the ultra-modern equipment we have available in radiation oncology we will never be able to compete for the hearts and minds of the patients. I concede that the time has come to face the truth and give in to our fate. Our offices are in the process of converting to giant mousealeums in which rows of thousands of mice will be arranged in order to collect their urine to extract microgram amounts of angiostatin. Even if it becomes possible to produce this molecule with recombinant techniques it will still be worth producing it the natural way, especially after we figure out how to get the mice to keep the condom catheters on.

And then it will be only a matter of time, possibly as early as 2020, that the articles will come out that an invisible beam is capable of killing cancer cells.

email: mkatin@radiotherapy.com