The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.


Old Drug Extends Life For Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Jan 23, 2013
Originally published on January 23, 2013 3:55 pm

A large study is providing a rare glimmer of hope for patients with pancreatic cancer, perhaps the deadliest of all malignancies.

By the time they're diagnosed, most patients with pancreatic cancer have advanced disease that's spread to the liver and lung. And the primary tumor may be inoperable because it's wrapped around vital blood vessels and nerves.

A two-drug combination extends life for such patients compared to standard chemotherapy. Not by much — a couple of months for the average patient.

Perhaps more meaningful for most patients, more of those who got the new regimen lived a year or two longer than those on conventional therapy.

"There's a chance to make it to two years and as we follow patients, some may make it to three years," study author Dr. Daniel Von Hoff tells Shots. "Everybody knows it's not enough of a chance. But the message here is there is something that can get you out that far. And hopefully, other breakthroughs will come that have an impact on survival."

Von Hoff, who's with the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale, will present the results on Friday at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology devoted to gastrointestinal cancers.

The latest study employed Abraxane, an albumin-coated variation of the old drug known as Taxol. The idea is that the pancreas tumor cells "see" the albumin protein as food and ingest it, concentrating the chemotherapy where it's needed.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Abraxane in 2005 to treat metastatic breast cancer and later lung cancer.

The latest study, involving nearly 900 patients, gave half Abraxane in combination with gemcitabine, the standard chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. The others got gemcitabine alone. The study was funded by Celgene, which makes Abraxane.

The patients who had Abraxane added to their treatment did better.

The midpoint survival of those who got the two-drug combo was 8.5 months compared to 6.7 months for standard chemo. Perhaps more significant, 35 percent of the two-drug group were alive a year later, compared to 22 percent of the others. And 9 percent survived at least 2 years, versus 4 percent who got only gemcitabine.

"I wouldn't call it a giant step, but it's a significant step, for sure," Dr. David Ryan of the Massachusetts General Hospital tells Shots. "Every single patient in the clinic will be asking about it — and there are a lot of people out there with pancreatic cancer."

Some 44,000 Americans get a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer each year, and 37,000 die of it.

Ryan, who wasn't involved in the new study, says it's the second such advance in the past 20 months. In mid-2011, a French group showed that a four-drug regimen called FOLFIRINOX gave pancreatic cancer patients an extra four months of life compared to those who got gemcitabine alone.

But that came at the cost of more side effects than the latest two-drug combination. And FOLFIRINOX is harder to administer, requiring an infusion pump over several days.

The two-drug combo can be given by standard IV infusions. It has side effects, too, including a reduction in white blood cells, fatigue and nerve damage.

Ryan says Abraxane plus gemcitabine will probably become a first-line treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. The cost of Abraxane would be about $38,000 a patient, estimates Mark Schoenebaum, a drug industry analyst with ISI Group.

"There are people hitting home runs — living a year or even two years on these drugs," Ryan says. "Historically very few people lived two years. That's a real change."

Von Hoff, the new study's leader, says the next step is to see if the two-drug therapy can shrink pancreas tumors enough to remove them surgically. A study of these patients is underway.

Another big question, the Arizona specialist says, is whether Abraxane plus gemcitabine can prevent recurrence of pancreatic cancer in patients who've had their primary tumor removed.

And eventually, researchers would like to see if use of the two-drug treatment in early-stage pancreatic cancer can prevent or greatly delay metastasis to other organs. The limitation of that strategy, though, is that only about 20 percent of pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed when the disease is still confined to the pancreas.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit