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Eric Shanteau, who was a member of US Olympic Swim team, heard the three of the most chilling words just one week before the US Olympic trials: "You have cancer." Regardless of his misfortune, he decided to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics, where he posted a personal best time in the 200 meter breaststroke. After returning to his hometown, he underwent surgery and has become a legendary cancer survivor. He recently nominated Drs. Douglas J. Schwartzentruber in Goshen Center for Cancer Care and Larry W. Kwak in University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, who are on the trail of a cancer vaccine, as the most influential thinkers for 'TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World'. He sincerely comprehends their earnest efforts in the cure for cancer, which could bring about at long last relief from cancer anxiety.
A periodontitis vaccine could rank with one for cancer not for securing life expectancy but for promoting quality of life, because periodontal disease is the primary cause of the loss of facial esthetics and oral function in adults. Besides, we already know that nearly two-thirds of the world's population suffers from periodontal disease, which may affect the aggravation of systemic disease. Up to the present, attempts at periodontal vaccine development have turned out to be unsuccessful. This may be due to the polymicrobial nature of dental biofilm and the complexity of interaction among the host and various environmental factors. However, periodontal vaccine development is worthwhile for the eradication of the global burden of the morbidity of periodontitis. This should eventually enhance the situation of debilitating disease including atherosclerosis, diabetes, and preeclampsia. In this issue, we have a review on vaccination for periodontal disease which deserves to be read, in addition to four original articles and two clinical reports.
Mr. Shanteau encourages us with a quote from Booker T. Washington: "Success is not defined by the number of victories you achieve, but by the mountains you overcome." Considering this, we should be expecting a successful periodontal vaccination in the future and likewise be Waiting for Godot, which is the hope not from God but from mankind, no matter how hard it might be.