The Daily Valet. - 2/22/24, Thursday

Thursday, February 22nd Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Who else wants wings for lunch? Trust me, you will.

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Today’s Big Story

A ‘Watershed Cancer Therapy’ Breakthrough


The treatment supercharges the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells


This is really promising news. The Food and Drug Administration just approved a new cancer therapy that could one day transform the way a majority of aggressive and advanced tumors are treated. This is something near and dear to me—I’m so encouraged to see humanity get closer to helping anyone diagnosed with cancer fight it with greater ease, while upping their overall chances for survival.

The new class of treatments (tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, or TIL) actually harness the body's natural immune system to fight tumors. And it’s being hailed as “the biggest thing in oncology since CAR-T revealed the promise of cell therapy more than a decade ago.” TIL therapy works by extracting patients' T-cells directly from tumors and essentially “giving them the Club Med treatment,” said Jason Bock, CEO of the Cell Therapy Manufacturing Center, a joint venture between MD Anderson Cancer Center and biomanufacturing company Resilience. Patients' immune systems are temporarily weakened before providers infuse the strengthened and multiplied cells back into the patient.

So far, it’s been approved to treat adults with a skin cancer like melanoma that has spread or can’t be removed with surgery, after other approaches have failed. Though the condition is uncommon, cancer experts say winning FDA approval could mark the beginning of a potent new weapon against other tumors (which account for 90% of all cancers).

Scientists have for decades worked to develop cancer treatments that exploit the body’s own immune system to seek out and destroy malignant tumors. But, Axios points out, with price tags of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the drugs raise familiar concerns about affordability and access. And, of course, much more research is still needed, so it may be years before TIL therapy is approved for other types of cancer. But we’ve got one helluva start here.

Cancer is affecting more young people, but doctors aren't sure why it's happening.

Biden Cancels More Student Debt


Over 150,000 people got an email Wednesday that their debt was cleared

The president’s plans to provide student debt relief were dealt a significant blow when the Supreme Court rejected his signature student loan forgiveness program last year. But the administration has continued to find other ways to help borrowers. And on Wednesday, the government began automatically relieving student debt for another 153,000 people—bringing the total number of Americans approved for debt relief to nearly 3.9 million, with nearly $138 billion of federal student loan debt erased from the books.

According to the New York Times, Biden’s work around the Supreme Court decision has been to pursue a more “piecemeal approach, tweaking existing programs long plagued by bureaucratic delays.” Yesterday’s debt cancellation was an example of that—affecting those enrolled in what is known as the SAVE plan, an income-driven repayment program, who have lower balances and have made payments for at least a decade.

As of Wednesday, there are many Americans who could actually qualify for this debt relief but aren’t enrolled in the SAVE Plan, something the White House says it's working to improve outreach on as an estimated 27 million Americans are currently in repayment for student loans. Speaking to reporters Biden said that forgiving student loans empowers recipients to buy homes, start families and contribute more to the economy. His remarks come less than nine months before the general election. Of course, surveys have been showing Biden is struggling with younger voters, who were a key ingredient in his 2020 victory against Trump and who often rate student debt as a top concern.

Currently, Trump has not offered a campaign plan to relieve student debt.


Don’t Get Weighed Down
This Spring

DUER blends natural performance fibers with a modern, comfortable design.

Beyoncé Tops the Billboard Country Charts


She makes history as the first Black female to do so

We’re used to Beyoncé making history, but I definitely didn’t have this on my bingo board: On Wednesday, she became the first Black woman to score a No. 1 hit in the history of Billboard's Hot Country Songs, after "Texas Hold 'Em" debuted at the top of the chart.

The banjo-heavy track took the top slot, while “16 Carriages” (the other country-infused song off her upcoming album) ranked at No. 9, the publication said. She dropped both shortly after teasing new music in a Verizon ad that aired during the Super Bowl.

The new album—which appears to be a country ode to the Houston native’s home state—will be released on March 29 and has been described as "Act II" of the three-act project that began with her critically acclaimed "Renaissance" album, released back in 2022. And she’s not the only one crossing over. Artists across genres are expected to experiment more with country music this year—both Lana Del Rey and Post Malone are expected to release music in the genre.

Dig Deeper:
In recent years, there's been a renaissance of new Black country artists producing music despite getting little radio play.

A Chicken Wing War?


Popeyes has set its sights on 800+ new locations, and a whole lot more wings

First came the Popeyes chicken sandwich that ignited a battle among fast food chains. Next came several more riffs on that same concept. Now, America’s second largest chicken chain is seeing similar success with its newest menu item: chicken wings. Restaurant Business reports that although they’ve only been around a few months, the wings are signaling a serious transformation of the Popeyes brand.

Popeyes first added wings to its permanent menu back in November, but they’re already the number three provider of quick-service wings. The chain’s lineup includes Ghost Pepper, Sweet ‘N Spicy, Honey BBQ, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, and Signature Hot. Anyone who’s tried them is raving about the wing’s flavor and crunchy crispness. In fact, they’re so popular, the wings have increased Popeyes’ delivery and digital sales, now accounting for 25% of overall sales.

It also sparks a return to bone-in chicken—something that Popeyes (and most chicken outlets) have been steering away from, in favor of easier on-the-go boneless options. But with the wings being such a sudden hit, it’s no wonder that many think that we’re about to see wings popping up on all sorts of menus over the next year.

By the Numbers:
Earlier this month, Americans ate a record-breaking 1.45 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday.


Get Ready for Spring’s Adventures


DUER’s new spring collection has arrived


What if you could have the comfort and performance of your favorite pair of gym pants, with the look and feel of your everyday work pants? That’s essentially the mission for DUER. They specialize in styles that are engineered to move comfortably from bike lane, to boardroom, to an evening out—all in a single pair of pants.

DUER’s No Sweat fabric is a great example of how the brand utilizes natural, plant-based fibers like lyocell for their antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties. You might’ve guessed, but they call them ‘No Sweat’ because they have all the ease and mobility of a great pair of sweatpants, but with the smooth refined finish of a stylish chino. Plus, they come in a range of colors and fits (from slim and relaxed fit, to an athletic jogger), so there are plenty of options to find the right one for you.


No Sweat jogger,


No Sweat pant
in a relaxed taper fit, $139


No Sweat pant
in a slim fit, $139

Morning Motto

Good or bad, nothing’s permanent.


It won't be this way forever. Someday you'll be dead.




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