The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer

The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer

by Charles Graeber


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New York Times bestselling author Charles Graeber details the astonishing scientific discovery of the code to unleashing the human immune system to fight — and possibly even cure — cancer, in this "captivating and heartbreaking" (The Wall Street Journal) book, featuring interviews with 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine award winners James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo.

"Engaging...In Mr. Graeber's hands, the evolution of immuno-oncology is both captivating and heartbreaking. We are immersed in the stories of the brave, desperate patients who try emerging therapies...We can't fail to see ourselves, our friends and our families in these stories." — The Wall Street Journal

For decades, scientists have puzzled over one of medicine's most confounding mysteries: Why doesn't our immune system recognize and fight cancer the way it does other diseases, like the common cold?

As it turns out, the answer to that question can be traced to a series of tricks that cancer has developed to turn off normal immune responses-tricks that scientists have only recently discovered and learned to defeat. The result is what many are calling cancer's "penicillin moment," a revolutionary discovery in our understanding of cancer and how to beat it.

In The Breakthrough, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Nurse Charles Graeber guides readers through the revolutionary scientific research bringing immunotherapy out of the realm of the miraculous and into the forefront of twenty-first-century medical science. As advances in the fields of cancer research and the human immune system continue to fuel a therapeutic arms race among biotech and pharmaceutical research centers around the world, the next step-harnessing the wealth of new information to create modern and more effective patient therapies-is unfolding at an unprecedented pace, rapidly redefining our relationship with this all-too-human disease.

Groundbreaking, riveting, and expertly told, The Breakthrough is the story of the game-changing scientific discoveries that unleash our natural ability to recognize and defeat cancer, as told through the experiences of the patients, physicians, and cancer immunotherapy researchers who are on the front lines. This is the incredible true story of the race to find a cure, a dispatch from the life-changing world of modern oncological science, and a brave new chapter in medical history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455568505
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 270,767
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Charles Graeber is the Edgar Award-nominated, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Nurse. Winner of the Overseas Press Club award for outstanding international journalism, he has contributed to numerous publications, including Wired, GQ, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the New York Times. His work has been included in The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Crime Writing, and other anthologies. Born in Iowa, he's now based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Patient 101006 JDS 9

Chapter 2 A Simple Idea 36

Chapter 3 Glimmers in the Darkness 60

Chapter 4 Eureka, Texas 92

Chapter 5 The Three E's 109

Chapter 6 Tempting Fate 137

Chapter 7 The Chimera 166

Chapter 8 After the Gold Rush 179

Chapter 9 It's Time 184

Acknowledgments 195

Appendix A Types of Immunotherapies Now and Upcoming 199

Appendix B The Breakthrough, in Brief 205

Appendix C A Brief Anecdotal History of Disease, Civilization, and the Quest for Immunity 211

Further Reading 227

Notes 229

Index 289

About the Author 303

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