The Transformed Cell

The Transformed Cell

by Steven A. Rosenberg, John Barry, Ron Rifkin
     
 

The great moments of scientific discovery all too often occur in the far reaches of the laboratory, hidden from the public eye. Rarely do readers have an opportunity to comprehend the exhilaration and sense of awe scientists feel as they finally make a breakthrough in understanding the complex web of nature. The Transformed Cell changes all that. Dr. Steven Rosenberg,…  See more details below

Overview

The great moments of scientific discovery all too often occur in the far reaches of the laboratory, hidden from the public eye. Rarely do readers have an opportunity to comprehend the exhilaration and sense of awe scientists feel as they finally make a breakthrough in understanding the complex web of nature. The Transformed Cell changes all that. Dr. Steven Rosenberg, one of the world's leading surgeons, provides an extraordinary glimpse inside the workings of the scientific process. Moreover, he tells a story of hope: of a devoted doctor's exciting advances in halting the spread of cancer. Dr. Rosenberg's quest began in 1968, when he encountered a patient whose cancer had mysteriously disappeared. Could the body itself, he wondered, have mounted a massive immune response to the cancer? From that point on, Dr. Rosenberg set out to see if immunotherapy, and later gene therapy, could succeed where surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation had failed. The setting for this powerful human drama is the National Cancer Institute, where Dr. Rosenberg became chief of surgery at the age of thirty-four. In easy-to-understand language, he takes the reader inside one of the most important medical institutions in the world - and inside the laboratory - as he leads a team of dedicated investigators. Dr. Rosenberg describes the heartbreaks along the way, as well as the first successes in 1985, when he viewed a patient's X ray and saw evidence of tumor shrinkage. Since then, Dr. Rosenberg has made headlines around the world for his pioneering treatments that have saved many lives. With a cautious optimism, he tells of the potential of these treatments and of his most recent experiments, the first in history in which foreign genes were inserted into humans. Deeply personal, often anecdotal, The Transformed Cell is written with an unusual clarity and vision. Dr. Rosenberg describes his progress with contagious excitement, and compassionately relates the stories of those patients selec

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute, details the years of clinical and laboratory research that led to his developing the controversial cancer therapy using interleukin-2 (IL-2), a protein produced by the human immune system and synthesized in the lab. Treatment involves withdrawing a patient's cancer-killing white blood cells, mixing them with immune-activating IL-2 and injecting the mixture back into the body. Publicized by the medical establishment and the media as a breakthrough, IL-2 has, as Rosenberg notes here, severe side effects and cures only a minority of patients afflicted with only a few kinds of cancer. In addition, two critics of the medical establishment, Jane Heimlich ( What Your Doctor Won't Tell You ) and Ralph Moss ( The Cancer Industry ), have pointed out that IL-2 is prohibitively expensive and that treatment with it may require many weeks of hospitalization. Rosenberg also discusses his work on gene therapy, an experimental modality in which genetically altered white blood cells are reinserted in the cancer patient's bloodstream to attack the tumor. One feels that he overstates the promise of both types of treatment. Photos. ( Sept. )
Library Journal
In this exciting book, Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute and author of dozens of books and papers on cancer, uses his own experience of seeking new treatments for cancer patients to explain how scientists conduct medical research. Telling of the scientific dream to use the body's immune system to cure cancer, he discusses how the past decade has witnessed the attempt to treat cancer by manipulating natural host biologic functions using recombinant DNA technology, interleukin-2, interferon, and colony-stimulating factors. Using engrossing case histories, Rosenberg, a caring and sensitive expert, shares with his readers the agonizing successes and failures of advanced therapies that promise to join surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy as a fourth major treatment approach for cancer patients. Highly recommended.-- James Swanton, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine, New York
Booknews
Dr. Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute, writes of his passionate quest to determine whether immunotherapy, and later gene therapy, could succeed where surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation had failed. Lacks a bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671795450
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
11/01/1992
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 cassettes, 5 hrs.

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