As per protocol, Cullinan and PwC colleague Martha Ruiz toted briefcases to the awards via the red carpet, each holding an identical set of envelopes for the show's 24 categories. The accountants also memorize the winners. During the telecast, the accountants were stationed in the Dolby Theatre wings, one stage left and one stage right, to give presenters their category's envelope before they went on stage. Most presenters entered stage right, where Cullinan was posted and where he handed Beatty and Dunaway the errant envelope. Yet the previous award, best actress, had been presented by Leonardo DiCaprio, who entered stage left and received the envelope from Ruiz. That left a duplicate, unopened envelope for best actress at stage right. "It's a simple process, if a painstaking one," said Dan Lyle, who had Oscar duties for 11 years in the 1980s and '90s. Accountants attended rehearsals to learn whether presenters would enter from the right or left. But given the possibility of last-minute changes, both accountants had a full set of envelopes. When Lyle ended up with a redundant envelope for a category handled by his colleague, he said, he got it out of the way by stuffing it in a pocket or otherwise discarding it before moving on to the next award. If the wrong winner was announced, a PwC accountant was to quickly dash to the stage to correct the error.
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The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society helped sponsor the study. Results were released by the company and have not been published or reviewed by other experts. Full results will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in April. The company plans to seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the end of March and in Europe later this year. The treatment involves filtering a patient's blood to remove key immune system soldiers called T-cells, altering them in the lab to contain a gene that targets cancer, and giving them back intravenously. Doctors call it a "living drug" permanently altered cells that multiply in the body into an army to fight the disease. Patients in the study had one of three types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer, and had failed all other treatments. Median survival for such patients has been about six months. Kite study patients seem to be living longer, but median survival isn't yet known. With nearly nine months of follow-up, more than half are still alive.
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