Tag Archives: DES

DES on Lifetime’s “The Conversation” Website!

1 Aug

WONDER DRUG screenwriter Caitlin McCarthy’s piece “I’m A DES Daughter. Are You?” just went live today on the website for Lifetime’s “The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet” (the show being heralded as the new Oprah). Kindly check out her piece and leave a comment underneath it: www.theconversation.tv/wellness/im-a-des-daughter-are-you/

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Tomorrow is the Deadline for DES Activist’s Citizens Medal Nomination!

23 Apr

Tomorrow (April 24) is the last day to write and/or Tweet the White House about the Presidential Citizens Medal.

As you know, for the 2nd year in a row, DES Daughter Caitlin McCarthy has been nominated for a Presidential Citizens Medal for her DES activism. 

If you have not already done so, here is your opportunity to help support what Caitlin is doing to further the cause for the DES exposed. THAT helps all of us!

Because of Caitlin’s activism and joint efforts with the offices of US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), the FDA finally acknowledged DES as a “tragedy” in 2011 after 40 years of silence.

In a further effort to educate, enlighten, and inspire others about DES, Caitlin has written an award-winning feature screenplay called WONDER DRUG, now in development with producer/star Alysia Reiner. Caitlin also speaks on TV, in print media, and on panels about DES – all while working as an urban public high school English Language Arts teacher in Worcester, MA, a high need school district.

The Presidential Citizens Medal is the second highest civilian award in the United States, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

If you would like to express your support of Caitlin McCarthy’s nomination for a 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, please Tweet the following to the White House (@whitehouse): “I support DES Daughter Caitlin McCarthy (@CaitlinMcWriter)’s nomination for a 2012 Presidential #CitizensMedal!”

You can also send a message of support via this webform to the White House HERE.

Your message can read: “I support DES Daughter Caitlin McCarthy’s nomination for a 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal for her DES activism. Because of Caitlin’s activism and joint efforts with the offices of US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), the FDA finally acknowledged DES as a “tragedy” in 2011 after 40 years of silence. In a further effort to educate, enlighten, and inspire others about DES, Caitlin has written an award-winning feature screenplay called WONDER DRUG, now in development with producer/star Alysia Reiner. Caitlin also speaks on TV, in print media, and on panels about DES – all while working as an urban public high school English Language Arts teacher in Worcester, MA, a high need school district. Thank you for your consideration.”

WONDER DRUG HAS AN OSCAR-NOMINATED DIRECTOR!

16 Feb

Academy Award® nominated director Joan Stein Schimke has joined the team of producer/star Alysia Reiner (www.alysiareiner.com) and screenwriter Caitlin McCarthy (www.caitlinmccarthy.com) on WONDER DRUG, a feature film now in development.

Winner and nominee in over 20 international film festival screenplay competitions and labs, including the prestigious Hamptons Screenwriters Lab as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation script, WONDER DRUG is inspired by the true story of DES (diethylstilbestrol), a toxic, carcinogenic drug seen as a medical miracle to help women with pregnancy issues and a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies upon its creation.

Joan was nominated for an Academy Award® for her short film ONE DAY CROSSING. The film, shot in Hungary, won several other awards including the Student Academy Award® Gold Medal, the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Best Woman Student Filmmaker, and Best Director, National Board of Review.

Her short film SOLIDARITY screened at over a dozen festivals, including the New York Film Festival and the Expresion en Corto Film Festival, where it was awarded Best Short.

Other directing credits include “Law and Order” and the short films CITY MINUTES, FAULT LINE and REAP THE WHIRLWIND. Joan has worked as the Production Coordinator on Eric Mendelsohn’s 3 BACKYARDS (Winner: Best Director, Sundance Film Festival; starring Edie Falco); as Locations Coordinator on Woody Allen’s DECONSTRUCTING HARRY; and as an assistant to Director Bette Gordon on the feature LUMINOUS MOTION. She was invited to be mentored by Director Taylor Hackford on the set of RAY starring Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx.

Joan is an Associate Professor at Adelphi University and is currently developing several film projects.

For more information on WONDER DRUG, please visit www.wonderdrugthemovie.com and www.facebook.com/wonderdrugthemovie.

Full bios on Alysia and Caitlin can be found below.

###

WONDER DRUG PRODUCER/STAR ALYSIA REINER:

Alysia is an award winning actress, producer, mother, humanitarian, and outspoken environmentalist.

As an actress, Alysia won a Screen Actors Guild Award (Outstanding Performance for an Ensemble Cast) playing Christine, Jack’s fiancee and then bride, in the Oscar-winning film “Sideways.”. Alysia’s other film credits include “Backwards”, “Not For Nothing”, Arranged”, “Kissing Jessica Stein,” “One Last Thing,” “The A List,” “For Love of the Game” with Kevin Costner, “Row Your Boat” with Jon Bon Jovi, “The Narrow Gate,” “Hourly Rates,” “3 Body Problem,” and “The Stand In.” Most recently, “The Vicious Kind”, produced by Neil LaBute, premiered at Sundance 2009, was nominated for two independent Spirit Awards.

Among her many stage roles, she starred in the New York Premiere of “Pentecost” by Tony-winning playwright David Edgar, and starred in the provocative two character play “An Oak Tree” with Tim Crouch, which won a Special Obie Award. Her portrayal of June Miller in “Anais Nin: One Of Her Lives” was critically acclaimed, as was her turn in “Wasps In Bed” at The Beckett Theater, of which the New York Times wrote “Alysia Reiner is priceless.” Last summer she originated the role of Tina Modotti in “Modotti”. Other New York theater includes “Hillary: A Modern Greek Tragedy With A Somewhat Happy Ending” at The Public Theater, “Jayson With a Y,” “Manhattan Cassanova” with Mercedes Ruehl, and “Love in the Age of Narcissism” and “Dating Games,” both with her husband, actor David Alan Basche.Alysia has appeared on stages around the country; from the Sundance Filmmakers Lab in Utah to The Matrix Theatre in LA to The Forum Theater in New Jersey; and around the world from The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland to The Royal Court Theatre in London. This Fall she starred in the US premiere of A CHARITY CASE Off-Broadway.

Alysia’s many TV roles include “Blue Bloods,” “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order” (all 3 shows), “30 Rock,” “White Collar,” “Love Monkey,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “The Practice,” “The Jury,” “Family Law,” “Jack & Jill,” and series lead in the pilot “An Englishman in New York.”

Speed Grieving, the short film that Alysia created, produced and stars in, had it’s World Premiere at The Hamptons International Film Festival, and has since been invited to over a dozen more film festivals and has won multiple awards. She has been asked to be a regular contributor – about grief & and film – for the Huffington Post and Maria Shriver’s Website.

As a new mother, she was featured on Celebrity Baby Scoop, Stroller Traffic, People.com, Healthy Child Healthy World, Family Focus Blog, Today I ate a Rainbow, Your Green Baby, and others. She is a celebrity green momma spokesperson for Best For Babes, an organization that works to change how we view and support breast feeding, and gives moms the solutions they need to make it work.

Alysia is a champion of all things eco-friendly, and she and her husband recently used their own home as a way to share information about building green. Their brownstone renovation in Harlem was featured on television’s “World’s Greenest Homes” and “Renovation Nation”; in various magazines like Dwell, Gotham, and The Nest; and they allowed the environmentally friendly construction process to be chronicled on Web sites such as Dwell.com and Kohler.com.

She was recently recognized as an INTELLIGENT OPTIMIST in Ode Magazine:
http://www.odemagazine.com/blogs/intelligent_optimists/22336/alysia_reiner
and profiled by New York Women in Film and Television as a woman to watch:
http://www.nywift.org/article.aspx?id=2319.

Alysia is on the board of The Broad Collective, and is involved with many charities including The Cancer Support Community, Habitat for Humanity, Our Time Theatre Company, 52nd Street Project, Actors for Autism, Joyful Heart Foundation, Comp2Kids, GEMS, and Circle of Health International.

For more information:

twitter: @alysiareiner

www.facebook.com/SpeedGrieving

http://www.facebook.com/AlysiaReiner

www.speedgrieving.org

www.alysiareiner.com

WONDER DRUG SCREENWRITER CAITLIN MCCARTHY:

Caitlin McCarthy received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate programs in the country. An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has two feature films in development: WONDER DRUG with producer/star Alysia Reiner and director Joan Stein Schimke; and RESISTANCE with Populus Pictures and director Si Wall. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school in Massachusetts. Prior to education, Caitlin worked in public relations, where she fostered relationships with the press and crafted messages for companies that were delivered worldwide.

Awards and Nominations

Caitlin was nominated for a 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal for her work on the DES (diethylstilbestrol) issue.

IMAGINE Magazine named Caitlin a “Woman to Watch” in 2011.

The Pulse Magazine named Caitlin one of the “People to Watch in 2011.”

Caitlin was a 2008 Fellowship Grant Recipient from the Worcester Arts Council (WAC), formerly known as the Worcester Cultural Commission. WAC falls under the umbrella of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

She was also a finalist for the 2011 Artist Fellowships Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), receiving a financial award.

Caitlin’s writing has collectively won awards and nominations in over 60 international film festival screenplay competitions and labs, most notably:

** WONDER DRUG: Selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation script for the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab and chosen for a live staged reading of select scenes at the 15th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. Reading starred Steve Guttenberg (THREE MEN AND A BABY) and Alysia Reiner (SIDEWAYS). Also winner of the “Most Likely To Be Produced” screenplay award at the 2010 Action on Film International Film Festival. Currently in development with actor/producer Alysia Reiner and director Joan Stein Schimke.

** RESISTANCE: Winner of the Atlanta Film Festival’s Inaugural Screenplay Competition. The prize for winning was participation in a weekend retreat with a group of renowned writing, directing, and producing mentors. Caitlin’s mentors were Joy Lusco Kecken (NBC’s “Homicide” and HBO’s “The Wire”) and Michael Lucker (VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN). Currently in development with Populus Pictures and director Si Wall.

** FREE SKATE: Winner of the MTV/WIF TV & Media Outreach Program. The top ten applicants presented their ideas directly to senior members of MTV’s development team on a designated pitch day in June of 2010. Caitlin pitched FREE SKATE as a scripted series. Currently in the process of being optioned by an LA-based production company.

** CAPE COD LITE: Winner of the “Best Drama” screenplay award at the Action on Film International Film Festival. A five-minute scene was shown as a “mini-movie” during the festival. Currently at script stage.

** PASS/FAIL: First Place – Best Short Script in the 2011 RIIFF (Rhode Island International Film Festival) Screenplay Competition. Pilot teleplay also selected for interpretation on camera by the Action on Film International Film Festival. A five-minute scene was shown as a “mini-movie” during the festival. Currently at script stage.

For more information, visit www.caitlinmccarthy.com.

Email WCVB-TV Boston about DES Segment

8 Jan

WCVB-TV Boston "Chronicle"

Ask WCVB-TV Boston’s “Chronicle” newsmagazine to re-air its June 3, 2011 segment about DES before the DES breast cancer cases hearing on January 19, 2012. Send your request to: chronicle@TheBostonChannel.com

Press Release About DES Breast Cancer Cases in Boston, MA

15 Sep

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

DISTINGUISHED HARVARD EPIDEMIOLOGIST TESTIFIES AGAINST ELI LILLY & COMPANY AND BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB THAT DES DAUGHTERS ARE AT SUBSTANTIAL RISK FOR BREAST CANCER

On September 7, 2011, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston, Dr. Hans-Olov Adami, former Chair of the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and a world-renowned physician and epidemiologist, testified that women exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol (DES) are at substantially increased risk for breast cancer.  Dr. Adami cited to Dr. Julie Palmer’s 2006 NCI study, “Prenatal Diethylstilbestrol Exposure and the Risk of Breast Cancer,” which showed a 2.05 – 3.85 relative risk for DES daughters over the age of 40.  Dr. Adami “found it overwhelmingly likely based on this methodology that DES causes breast cancer, [and] increases substantially the risk of breast cancer in women starting about the age of 40.”

In confirming the Palmer study in court as a valid and important reopening of the never-ending DES tragedy, Dr. Adami stated: “so the bottom line of this is it provides strong evidence that DES exposure increases the risk, and that the risk increase starts sometime around age 40 and then grows as women get older.”

Dr. Adami stressed that there are two practical implications in the Palmer study: “one is that it reinforces the importance of women who have been exposed to participate in mammography screening programs in order to allow early detection of breast cancer if they develop it; and secondly, because women who have been on hormone replacement therapies are already at an increased risk, the indications should be very restrictive to add another major risk factor if they have also been exposed to DES in the uterus.”

DES, primarily promoted by Eli Lilly and Company and E.R. Squibb & Sons (the predecessor to Bristol-Myers Squibb) was given to two to five million pregnant women in the 1950’s and 1960’s and was banned in 1971 when it was discovered to cause cancer and malformations of the reproductive tract.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently declared “DES Awareness Week” this July commemorating the experience of DES daughters and warning of breast cancer risks.

The trial taking place in federal court will continue for another week and a half as the fifty-three DES daughters involved put on further biology, toxicology, oncology, and obstetrics and gynecology experts to support Dr. Adami’s opinion of this substantial DES breast cancer risk in the daughters.

For Further Information, Contact:

Aaron M. Levine & Associates

1320 19th St., NW

Fifth Floor

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 833-8040

aaronlevinelaw@aol.com

Latest DES Breast Cancer Cases Update

13 Sep

The transcript for the DES breast cancer cases is considered public record, so the following info can be shared without compromising anything.

The past Chair of the Harvard School of Public Health said on Day 2 that overwhelming evidence shows that DES exposure causes breast cancer.
Below are some notable quotes in the transcript:
  • P. 31: (starting at line 13)  “… so the bottom line of this is it provides strong evidence that DES exposure increases the risk, and that the risk increase starts sometime around age 40 and then grows as the women grow older.”
  • p.34: (starting at line 13) “… you can conclude that this is the most powerful design we have in epidemiology…”
  • p.35 (starting at line 9): “… I found it interesting and reassuring that no one has pinpointed any sort of bias in the Palmer study in all of the documents I have read.”
  • p. 44 (starting at line 19 ): “… two practical implications: one is that it reinforces the importance of women who have been exposed to participate in mammography screening programs in order to allow early detection of breast cancer if they develop it; and secondly, because women who have been on hormone replacement therapies are already at an increased risk, the indications should be very restrictive to add another major risk factor if they have also been exposed to DES in the uterus.”
  • p.56 (starting at line 2): “…so in my interpretation this indicates strongly that there is, indeed, a dose-response trend between DES exposure and risk of breast cancer.”
  • p. 57 (starting at line 3): “…it’s overwhelmingly plausible that the mechanism exists whereby DES could increase the risk of breast cancer in humans.”
  • p. 21 (starting at line 21): “… I found it overwhelmingly likely based on this methodology that DES causes breast cancer, increases substantially the risk of breast cancer in women starting about the age of 40.”
  • p. 61 (starting at line 1): “But once she has contracted the disease, we can say that there’s a 75% probability that the disease developed due to DES exposure.”
If you would like to be emailed a copy of the transcript quoted above, please email your request to diethylstilbestrol@hotmail.com. We’ll send it over to you.

You Heard It Here First — Report from the DES Breast Cancer Cases in Boston

7 Sep

*PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK THE DES INFO BLOG SITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES*

Opening statements were made today in the case of Fecho et al v. Eli Lilly and Company, and the upcoming proceedings and judge’s ruling will determine whether or not the plaintiffs, all DES daughters with breast cancer, will be able to move forward with their lawsuit.  The case is being considered by Judge Marianne B. Bowler at the John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts.  In addition to one of the plaintiffs, a Boston area DES daughter and I were in the courtroom along with about two dozen lawyers representing Big Pharma.  The defendants in the case include:

  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Abbott Laboratories, Inc.
  • Glaxosmithkline (as successor to Burroughs-Welcome & Co.)
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Pharmacia & UpJohn Company (formerly known as Upjohn Company)
  • Premo Pharmaceutical laboratories, Inc.
  • Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a successor to Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
  • Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (as successor to Carnick Labs)
  • Kremers-Urban Company
  • Mallinckrodt, Inc.
  • Ortho-McNeil Lab, Inc.
  • Person & Covey, Inc.

Of note to our readers, Attorney Aaron Levine referenced this year’s DES Awareness Week here in Massachusetts, reading aloud from the text of the DES Awareness Week Proclamation, which was issued to this Admin by the office of the Governor.

Both sides presented their opening statements, with Attorney Levine going first.  Speaking for the defendants were two attorneys representing Eli Lilly.  Aaron Levine put forth sound arguments as to why DES is a contributing factor to breast cancer.  He referred to the Palmer study, which has described the increased risk for this population, as the “eminent study deserving deference.”  Lilly’s attorney called Palmer’s subgroup analysis a “fraud”; the result of “slicing the data of the subgroup very finely” to support their theory that there is “no statistically increased” risk of breast cancer in the DES group studied by Palmer and her colleagues.

A dozen experts will begin testifying tomorrow and will finish some time next week.

FYI, the Docket # for the case is 11CV-10152.  Copies can be obtained from the Court Clerk’s office for a fee.

At the conclusion of the court session today, I and the two other DES daughters got acquainted over lunch. I want to thank the plaintiff for her courage and the local DES daughter for making the time to come to the courthouse and show her support.  My understanding is that there will be a stream of DES daughters in the courtroom throughout the proceedings.  If any of you has the chance to stop by the courthouse and listen for a while, please take a few notes and post your thoughts here at DES Info.

Posted by Admin Andrea