Reading Room: "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer."

PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
NPR story talking with Oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee about his book "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer."

Link to story
You can listen or download the audio interview as an mp3 from the NPR site or I posted it here and you can listen or download it from there.
I did not get to listen to it all since my radio was fading in and out. I am going to listen on my mp3 player. What I did hear I found very interesting.

An excerpt:
"Cancer is not just a dividing cell," he says. "It's a complex disease: It invades, it metastasizes, it evades the immune system. So there are many, many other stages of [defining] cancer which are still in their infancy."

Mukherjee's new book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, grew out of his desire to better understand the disease he treats, through examining the way cancer has been described and treated throughout history. He chronicles the ways therapies evolved, particularly in the 20th century, as more treatment options became available and scientists worked to understand the underlying genetic mutations that caused the disease.

"If there's a seminal discovery in oncology in the last 20 years, it's that idea that cancer genes are often mutated versions of normal genes," he says. "And the arrival of that moment really sent a chill down the spine of cancer biologists. Because here we were hoping that cancer would turn out to be some kind of exogenous event — a virus or something that could then be removed from our environment and our bodies and we could be rid of it — but [it turns out] that cancer genes are sitting inside of each and every one of our chromosomes, waiting to be corrupted or activated."


  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122 Member
    How Cancer Acquired Its Own Biographer

    Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee

    "Talking about drug treatments, he reminded them: "If something is
    good, more is not necessarily better. Not always." ”

    From: How Cancer Acquired Its Own Biographer

    Even better:
    The Cancer Sleeper Cell
    Published: October 29, 2010

    (with all due credit to: The New York Times )

    Healthy thoughts!

  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
    Thanks Phil and John
    I read the articles- very interesting to me with all the talk and explanation of cancer stem cells, especially as I'm going to talk with Dr. Lenz on Monday about the possibility of a clinical trial with a drug that is supposed to target the cancer stem cells.
    I think the trial is still not up and running yet, so I don't know if Lenz will even know on Monday how soon it will get going, but Monday is when my appt is. There are a couple of other trials going too, we'll see what he says.
    Thanks for the thought provoking and cutting edge reading!