Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer
On Sale: February 6, 2001
Add to Wish List
In 1961, twenty-eight-year-old Dr. Judah Folkman saw
something while doing medical research in a United
States navy lab that gave him the first glimmering of a
wild, inspired hunch. What if cancerous tumors, in order to
expand, needed to trigger the growth of new blood vessels to
feed themselves? And if that was true, what if a way could
be found to stop that growth? Could cancers be starved to
death? Dr. Folkman had ample reason to be self confident —
second in his class at Harvard Medical School, he was
already considered one of the most promising doctors of his
generation. But even he never guessed that his idea would
eventually grow into a multibillion-dollar industry that is
now racing through human trials with drugs that show
unparalleled promise of being able to control cancer, as
well as other deadly diseases.
For the creation of this book, Dr. Judah Folkman cooperated
fully and exclusively with acclaimed science writer Robert
Cooke. He granted Cooke unlimited interviews, showed him
diaries and personal papers, and threw open the doors of his
lab. The result is an astonishingly rich and candid
chronicle of one of the most significant medical discoveries
of our time and of the man whose vision and persistence
almost single-handedly has made it possible.
Dr. Folkman's radical new way of thinking about cancer was
once considered preposterous. So little was known about how
cancer spreads and how blood vessels grow that he wasn't
even taken seriously enough to be considered a heretic.
Other doctors shook their heads at the waste of a great
mind, and ambitious young medical researchers were told that
accepting a position in Folkman's lab would be the death of
their careers. Now, though, the overwhelming majority of
experts believes that the day will soon come when
antiangiogenesis therapy supplants the current more toxic
and less-effective treatments — chemotherapy, radiation, and
surgery-as the preferred method of treatment for cancer in
patients around the world, and Dr. Folkman's breakthrough
will come to be taken for granted the way we now take for
granted the polio vaccine and antibiotics.
Dr. Folkman's War brilliantly describes how high the odds
are against success in medical research, how vicious the
competition for grants, how entrenched the skepticism about
any genuinely original thinking, how polluted by politics
and commerce the process of getting medicine into patients'
hands. But it also depicts with rare power how exalted a
calling medicine can be and how for the rare few—the
brilliant, the tireless, and the lucky — the results of
success can be world-changing.
Talk of the Nation - January 25, 2008
No comments posted.
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!