Breaking news – leaked information from the Nobel Prize Committee – the inventor of the Tanning Lamp is among the nominees for 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The information comes from an anonymous source with inside access to the Nobel Committee in Stockholm.
According to the source, a relative to the 1903 winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, the Danish scientist Niels Finsen, has nominated the inventor of the modern tanning lamp for this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
As stated in a press release, the relatives of Niels Finsen, consider UV-irradiation still to be a superior method for treatments of, not only Lupus Vulgaris (skin-tuberculosis) but also most other skin-diseases.
“The invention of the low-pressure fluorescent UV-lamp is a huge development of the complicated and expensive equipment used by our forefather. It has made it very simple to provide people with inexpensive treatments and as prevention of skin diseases”, says a spokesperson close to the Finsen family.
She also believe that the motivation from 1903, as quoted from below, still is valid and proves the value of UV-treatments .
“This year a report was published containing the cases of lupus treated during the first six years, up to and including November, 1901, in which 800 cases are described. The results are particularly satisfactory and are far superior to those obtained previously in the battle against this disease.In 50% of these cases the skin disease was cured, although in many of them the lesions were extensive and of long standing. In a great number of cases, so much time has elapsed since the recovery that one considers this as permanent.In the other 50% of these cases, in which a complete cure was not achieved, a partial cure or a considerable improvement was obtained in most cases. In only a very small number of cases, approximately 5% of all cases, treatment was unsuccessful or produced only temporary results. From the beginning of December 1901 until the end of October of this year, 300 further cases of lupus were treated. It has been noted that in recent years the proportion of cases of early lupus is much higher than before. As Finsen has said, it seems that in Denmark the time will soon come when the last chronic cases of lupus will have disappeared. Since cases of early lupus respond more easily to treatment, the future is most encouraging.This method represents an immense step forward and the work of Professor Finsen has led to developments in a field of medicine which can never be forgotten in the history of medicine. For this reason he deserves the eternal gratitude of suffering humanity.”
Did IARC make a mistake when classifying sunbeds as carcinogens?
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially still believes in their assessment from 2009 that any use of artificial sources of ultraviolet light will increase the risk of skin cancer.
Nevertheless, when asked to comment on the news about a possible Nobel Prize for the inventor of tanning lamps, one researcher earlier associated with IARC, makes a different statement:
“Probably it was a mistake to classify sunshine and sunlamps as carcinogens without any dose-qualifications.We see now how manufacturers of sun-protection products and remedies for skin diseases use this classification in order to market their products and also to get rid of UV-exposure as a competitive treatment for skin problems.We adhere to warnings about UV-exposure which are are published almost daily. This makes us get far too little sun exposure which lowers our immunity and makes us vulnerable to a wide range of diseases.Because of this vulnerability, five of six Americans are on antibiotics, and 23,000 dies annually from drug-resistant infections.There are also plenty of evidence that people with regular sun exposure, for example through working outdoors, are less prone to developing melanoma than people with less or irregular UV-exposure.We are aware of an uncanny coincidence between the increases in diagnoses of skin cancers and the establishment of a new company producing chemical medications for exactly those illnesses for which ultraviolet light traditionally was the main method of treatment.Moreover, we see that this pharmaceutical company and their sister companies spend much resources to promote early screening campaigns for skin cancer. They also sponsor research trying to prove the risks of UV-exposure which makes it easy to suspect foul play.The fact that almost the whole team in IARC that prepared the case against sunbeds in 2006-2009, now is working as consultants for big pharmaceutical companies, adds to the suspicions of a manipulation of the research behind the 2009 decision.”
No name mentioned
The source close to the Nobel Committee did not name any specific creator for the proposed Medicine Laureate.
The specific mentioning of “low-pressure fluorescent UV-lamps” excludes the invention by Heraeus (in 1903) of the original high-pressure tanning lamp.
Therefore, the German scientist, Friedrich Wolff, is a more likely candidate. Friedrich Wolff, the founder of the tanning company Wolff Systems, invented the low-pressure UV lamp in the 1970s in order to explore the bio-positive effects of UV light on improving the performance of athletes
When I write this on 1 April 2015, the experts in the Nobel Prize Committee have just started their evaluation of the different candidates for this year’s laureates.
We have to wait until the official announcement in October to see if they have been brave enough to choose the inventor of the tanning lamp as the latest winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.