Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zeppelin members seek to improve medical treatments, research

Thirty-six hours remain in an online auction including items pertaining to Led Zeppelin. Bidding on the 12 Zeppelin-themed items ends at 10 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.

The auction, which was announced by the group's official Web site on Sept. 9, already stands to raise at least $3,555 ($3,747.68 CDN) for the Zeppelin-themed items alone.

Accounting for more than half of that figure is the most prized item, an official hardcover program from the band's 2007 reunion concert that is signed on the cover by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. Bidding on this item passed the $2,000 mark yesterday.

Surprisingly, only one bid has been placed for a three-inch projector reel containing three minutes of 8 mm footage shot at Led Zeppelin's concert at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, Calif., on June 22, 1972. The high bid is currently a paltry $75.

Some stills from this silent color reel are shown here, and below the silent footage has been synchronized to an audio recording of the same performance.

Among the other auction items also available are live still photographs of the band, autographed fanzines and a book.

Proceeds are to benefit the Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex, located in Toronto: "Mount Sinai Hospital is an internationally recognized, 472-bed acute care academic health sciences centre affiliated with the University of Toronto. It is known for excellence in the provision of compassionate patient care, innovative education, and leading-edge research."

Check out the auction here.

In other Zeppelin-related healthcare news, Robert Plant was mentioned by Sky News in an article yesterday as one of several celebrities advocating for the availability of a cancer treatment called photodynamic therapy. The procedure uses a laser light to starve cancer cells of oxygen, thereby killing them as the body replaces the cells by generating non-cancerous cells.

Roger Daltrey is another musician whose name is touted in the article as supporting a charity simply called Killing Cancer, which champions photodynamic therapy, or PDT. The article quotes Plant as saying:
"It really is an injustice that this form of treatment is not available to everyone in the UK. I have friends currently receiving PDT, but only because we pushed to get it."
Currently, the use of PDT internationally is limited in scope to only certain kinds of cancers, namely esophageal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and pre-cancerous esophageal lesions. Research in PDT is currently aimed at expanding its use to treat cancers beyond these and eventually use the therapy to treat throat cancer, brain tumors, breast cancer, and other conditions including Staph infections.

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