List Price: $ 25.95
Save 25 % off List Price
The Philadelphia Chromosome : A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level
One of Publishers Weekly's Top Ten Spring 2013 Science BooksPhiladelphia, 1959: A scientist scrutinizing a single human cell under a microscope detects a missing piece of DNA. That scientist, David Hungerford, had no way of knowing that he had stumbled upon the starting point of modern cancer research-the Philadelphia chromosome. This book charts not only that landmark discovery, but also-for the first time, all in one place-the full sequence of scientific and medical discoveries that brought about the first-ever successful treatment of a lethal cancer at the genetic level.The significance of this mutant chromosome would take more than three decades to unravel; in 1990, it was recognized as the sole cause of a deadly blood cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML. This dramatic discovery launched a race involving doctors and researchers around the world, who recognized that in principle it might be possible to target CML at its genetic source.Science journalist Jessica Wapner brings extensive original reporting to this book, including interviews with more than thirty-five people with a direct role in this story. Wapner reconstructs more than forty years of crucial breakthroughs, clearly explains the science behind them, and pays tribute to the dozens of researchers, doctors, and patients whose curiosity and determination restored the promise of a future to the more than 70,000 people worldwide who are diagnosed with CML each year. Chief among them is researcher and oncologist Dr. Brian Druker, whose dedication to his patients fueled his quest to do everything within his power to save them.The Philadelphia Chromosome helps us to fully understand and appreciate just how pathbreaking, hard-won, and consequential are the achievements it recounts-and to understand the principles behind much of today's most important cancer research, as doctors and scientists race to uncover and treat the genetic roots of a wide range of cancers.
"An excellent book for those who want to learn more about how medical discoveries are made and those interested in recent medical history, as well as those whose lives are affected by CML."-Library Journal"A crucial link between genetics and cancer emerged in a US lab in 1959, as researcher David Hungerford peered down a microscope at an abnormally small chromosome. In 1990, this 'Philadelphia chromosome' was found to cause the swiftly fatal chronic myeloid leukaemia. As science writer Jessica Wapner reveals in this taut, elegant study, a cascade of breakthroughs then led to success with targeted drug Gleevec, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor-and hopes for the cancer-busting potential of rational drug design in general."-Nature"[T]he way Wapner repeatedly adds up preceding steps to build to the scientific breakthrough is masterful, making for compulsive, surprisingly emotional reading."-The Scientist"In this meticulously detailed chronicle, science writer Wapner recaps the remarkable development of Gleevec, a cutting-edge drug capable of beating the typically fatal cancer of white blood cells known as chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). . . .Her gracefully written history skillfully combines both the science and humanity of this fascinating search for a cure for CML."-Publishers Weekly"Wapner weaves together the basic and applied science with the stories of the dedicated researchers, the broader supporting superstructure of modern medicine and the process of bringing pharmaceuticals to market. . . . An absorbing, complex medical detective story."-Kirkus Reviews"Expounding the well-known link between genetics and cancer, this scientific history recounts the initial discovery of a gene mutation that eventually led to enormous breakthroughs in the fight against leukemia."-The Barnes & Noble Review"Jessica Wapner reveals how the discovery of a single mutated chromosome led to a trailblazing treatment for leukemia and a variety of other cancers."-Shelf Awareness"Splendidly written in the tradition of the legendary medical book, Microbe Hunters, this book proves that medical science is as cool as those forensic shows like CSI."-Philadelphia Weekly"I would enthusiastically recommend [this book] to the lay public, people living with cancer and cancer researchers. . . .[T]he story of the Philadelphia chromosome-the scientific creativity and the dedication it celebrates and the medical scientific triumph it represents-is one that deserves to be cherished for eternity."-Nature Medicine"[The Philadelphia Chromosome] opens our eyes to a future in which remedies will kill tumors at their root."-Philadelphia Inquirer"[C]hronicles the decades-long quest to develop a targeted, or 'rational,' treatment that would attack cancer on the genetic level."-New York Post"The story of the Philadelphia chromosome is truly the story of modern cancer biology-from the very earliest description of a chromosomal abnormality in cancer cells to the development of a targeted medicine against a formerly lethal type of leukemia. Jessica Wapner stitches the whole story together with tenacity, diligence (and humor). This is a wonderful, readable, and highly informative book."-Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies"Jessica Wapner shows us in The Philadelphia Chromosome how the past and the future combine to dramatically change the course of a disease. This beautifully written book is a blueprint for broader healthcare change. A pivotal book."-David B. Agus, MD, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, and author of The End of Illness"Jessica Wapner has done two kinds of hard work gracefully: the hard work of understanding cancer genetics and the hard work of rendering that subject into human narrative, lucid explanation, and metaphor. The Philadelphia Chromosome is not just an urgently useful book. It's also an elegant one, put together like a Swiss watch."-David Quammen, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic"The Philadelphia Chromosome clearly explains how a half-century's worth of research transformed a viciously lethal form of cancer into a chronic, treatable condition. Jessica Wapner's meticulously researched book is both a real-life medical thriller and an engaging narrative about the history of modern cancer research."-Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
May 09, 2013
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.