The Emperor Of All Maladies 2
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An assessment of cancer addresses both the courageous battles against the disease and the misperceptions and hubris that have compromised modern understandings, providing coverage of such topics as ancient-world surgeries and the development of present-day treatments. Reprint. Best-selling winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Includes reading-group guide.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave may have cut off her diseased breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.
Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2011 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2011 Shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize
The Laws of Medicine follows Pulitzer-Prize-winning author, Dr Mukherjee as he investigates some of the most perplexing and illuminating cases of his career - the cases that ultimately led him to identify the three key principles that govern medicine. As a young medical student, Mukherjee discovered The Youngest Science, a book that changed the way he understood the medical profession and forced him to ask himself an urgent, fundamental question: Is medicine a 'science'? Science must have laws - statements of truth based on repeated experiments that describe some universal attribute of nature. Dr Mukherjee has spent his career pondering whether the 'youngest science' has laws like the other sciences, culminating in this treatise The Laws of Medicine. Law 1: Rumours are more important than tests. Law 2: The piece of data that does not fit your model is the most crucial piece of data that you own. Law 3: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias. Brimming with fascinating historical details and modern medical wonders, this book is a glimpse into the struggles and Eureka! moments rarely seen by those outside the profession.
The #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller The basis for the PBS Ken Burns Documentary The Gene: An Intimate History From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies—a fascinating history of the gene and “a magisterial account of how human minds have laboriously, ingeniously picked apart what makes us tick” (Elle). "Sid Mukherjee has the uncanny ability to bring together science, history, and the future in a way that is understandable and riveting, guiding us through both time and the mystery of life itself." –Ken Burns “Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee dazzled readers with his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies in 2010. That achievement was evidently just a warm-up for his virtuoso performance in The Gene: An Intimate History, in which he braids science, history, and memoir into an epic with all the range and biblical thunder of Paradise Lost” (The New York Times). In this biography Mukherjee brings to life the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices. “Mukherjee expresses abstract intellectual ideas through emotional stories…[and] swaddles his medical rigor with rhapsodic tenderness, surprising vulnerability, and occasional flashes of pure poetry” (The Washington Post). Throughout, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—reminds us of the questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In riveting and dramatic prose, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome. “A fascinating and often sobering history of how humans came to understand the roles of genes in making us who we are—and what our manipulation of those genes might mean for our future” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), The Gene is the revelatory and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master. “The Gene is a book we all should read” (USA TODAY).
Epigenetics can potentially revolutionize our understanding of the structure and behavior of biological life on Earth. It explains why mapping an organism's genetic code is not enough to determine how it develops or acts and shows how nurture combines with nature to engineer biological diversity. Surveying the twenty-year history of the field while also highlighting its latest findings and innovations, this volume provides a readily understandable introduction to the foundations of epigenetics. Nessa Carey, a leading epigenetics researcher, connects the field's arguments to such diverse phenomena as how ants and queen bees control their colonies; why tortoiseshell cats are always female; why some plants need cold weather before they can flower; and how our bodies age and develop disease. Reaching beyond biology, epigenetics now informs work on drug addiction, the long-term effects of famine, and the physical and psychological consequences of childhood trauma. Carey concludes with a discussion of the future directions for this research and its ability to improve human health and well-being.
Two years after she underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy, Barbara Bradfield's aggressive breast cancer had recurred and spread to her lungs. The outlook was grim. Then she took part in Genentech's clinical trials for a new drug. Five years later she remains cancer-free. Her-2 is the biography of Herceptin, the drug that provoked dramatic responses in Barbara Bradfield and other women in the trials and that offers promise for hundreds of thousands of breast cancer patients. Unlike chemotherapy or radiation, Herceptin has no disabling side effects. It works by inactivating Her-2/neu--a protein that makes cancer cells grow especially quickly-- produced by a gene found in 25 to 30 percent of all breast tumors. Herceptin caused some patients' cancers to disappear completely; in others, it slowed the progression of the disease and gave the women months or years they wouldn't otherwise have had. Herceptin is the first treatment targeted at a gene defect that gives rise to cancer. It marks the beginning of a new era of treatment for all kinds of cancers. Robert Bazell presents a riveting account of how Herceptin was born. Her-2 is a story of dramatic discoveries and strong personalities, showing the combination of scientific investigation, money, politics, ego, corporate decisions, patient activism, and luck involved in moving this groundbreaking drug from the lab to a patient's bedside. Bazell's deft portraits introduce us to the remarkable people instrumental in Herceptin's history, including Dr. Dennis Slamon, the driven UCLA oncologist who played the primary role in developing the treatment; Lily Tartikoff, wife of television executive Brandon Tartikoff, who tapped into Hollywood money and glamour to help fund Slamon's research; and Marti Nelson, who inspired the activists who lobbied for a "compassionate use" program that would allow women outside the clinical trials to have access to the limited supplies of Herceptin prior to FDA approval of the drug. And throughout there are the stories of the heroic women with advanced breast cancer who volunteered for the trials, risking what time they had left on an unproven treatment. Meticulously researched, written with clarity and compassion, Her-2 is masterly reporting on cutting-edge science.
A world-class oncologist's devastating and deeply personal examination of cancer We have lost the war on cancer. We spend $150 billion each year treating it, yet -- a few innovations notwithstanding -- a patient with cancer is as likely to die of it as one was fifty years ago. Most new drugs add mere months to one's life at agonizing physical and financial cost. In The First Cell, Azra Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again, The First Cell explores cancer from every angle: medical, scientific, cultural, and personal. Indeed, Raza describes how she bore the terrible burden of being her own husband's oncologist as he succumbed to leukemia. Like When Breath Becomes Air, The First Cell is no ordinary book of medicine, but a book of wisdom and grace by an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • Winner of The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award • “A new classic of science reporting.”—The New York Times The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river. In an astonishing feat of investigative reporting, prize-winning journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change. A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND KIRKUS REVIEWS “A thrilling journey full of twists and turns, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies “A complex tale of powerful industry, local politics, water rights, epidemiology, public health and cancer in a gripping, page-turning environmental thriller.”—NPR “Unstoppable reading.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Meticulously researched and compellingly recounted . . . It’s every bit as important—and as well-written—as A Civil Action and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”—The Star-Ledger “Fascinating . . . a gripping environmental thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “An honest, thoroughly researched, intelligently written book.”—Slate “[A] hard-hitting account . . . a triumph.”—Nature “Absorbing and thoughtful.”—USA Today
Advances in genetics are transforming estimates of an individual’s risk of developing cancer and approaches to prevention and management of cancer in those who may have increased susceptibility. Identifying and caring for patients with hereditary cancer syndromes and their family members present a complex clinical, scientific and social challenge. This textbook, by leading experts at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, highlights the current understanding of the genetics of hereditary cancers of the breast, ovary, colorectum, stomach, pancreas, kidney, skin, and endocrine organs. Practical guidelines for the use of genetic testing, cancer screening and surveillance, prophylactic surgery, and promising targeted therapeutic agents are discussed. In addition, ongoing research involving genome-wide screens to identify novel modest risk-associated genetic loci are explored, along with new approaches to the application of genetic markers in guiding therapeutic options.