Neil Canavan: How Scientists Unleash the Immune System to Kill Cancer
By Peter Hofland, Ph.D and Sonia Portillo, B.Sc
In this edition of The Onco’Zine Brief, Sonia Portillo talks with Neil Canavan about the people involved in developing novel, advanced – and sometimes – highly personalized - anti-cancer treatments.Canavan is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience reporting on science and medicine. For the last 5 years he has reported exclusively on issues related to drug development in cancer.In his new book "A Cure Within - Scientists Unleashing The Immune System to Kill Cancer," published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Neil Canavan writes about the power of the immune system and his reasons and motivation to write the book.Canavan explains how the way we treat cancer is about to change forever. He writes about a revolution--and it is precisely that--which was sparked not by the invention of a new drug, but by the evolution of an entirely new way of thinking about and managing cancer.Going forward, doctors will not use pharmaceuticals to attack tumors--not directly. Rather, the oncologist will treat the patient's immune system with a drug, and then the patient's own immune system will kill the tumor.Based entirely on interviews with the investigators, Canavan tells the story of the pioneers of immuno-oncology. It’s a story of failure, resurrection, and success. It’s a story about science, it’s a story about discovery, and intuition, and cunning. It’s a peek into the lives and thoughts of some of the most gifted medical scientists on the planet.Canavan's new book is not a textbook; It's a 'life' book. Precision medicine will save, is saving lives, and the book celebrates the living, breathing, thinking, charming, arrogant, funny, obstinate, amazing human beings who are making immuno-oncology happen.