Cancer touches everybody’s life in one way or another. But most of us know very little about how the disease works, why we treat it the way we do, and the personalities whose dedication got us where we are today. For fifty years, Dr. Vincent T. DeVita Jr. has been one of those key players: he has held just about every major position in the field, and he developed the first successful chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a breakthrough the American Society of Clinical Oncologists has called the top research advance in half a century of chemotherapy. As one of oncology’s leading figures, DeVita knows what cancer looks like from the lab bench and the bedside. The Death of Cancer is his illuminating and deeply personal look at the science and the history of one of the world’s most formidable diseases. In DeVita’s hands, even the most complex medical concepts are comprehensible.
Cowritten with DeVita’s daughter, the science writer Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, The Death of Cancer is also a personal tale about the false starts and major breakthroughs, the strong-willed oncologists who clashed with conservative administrators (and one another), and the courageous patients whose willingness to test cutting-edge research helped those oncologists find potential treatments. An emotionally compelling and informative read, TheDeath of Cancer is also a call to arms. DeVita believes that we’re well on our way to curing cancer but that there are things we need to change in order to get there. Mortality rates are declining, but America’s cancer patients are still being shortchanged—by timid doctors, by misguided national agendas, by compromised bureaucracies, and by a lack of access to information about the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s cancer centers.
With historical depth and authenticity, DeVita reveals the true story of the fight against cancer. The Death of Cancer is an ambitious, vital book about a life-and-death subject that touches us all.
Sarah Crichton Books
Sarah Crichton Books
Sarah Crichton Books
Sarah Crichton Books
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I haven't met Dr. DeVita but have known of his great contributions and leadership in the field of cancer for decades. For example, the textbook he has co-edited is the major resource of the field, and is now in its 10th edition. No less, he served as the Director of the NCI for 8 years and Physician-in-Chief at Sloan Kettering. Moreover, he discovered the definitive therapy for Hodgkin's disease, which has certainly stood the test of time. Accordingly, there could hardly be a more qualified individual to write about the inside story of cancer.
One of the most impressive books that I've ever read is Sid Mukherjee's Emperor of All Maladies, which tells the story of cancer in a very different, historical and masterful way. So did we need another book that tracks cancer treatment’s progress over the past 5 decades?
YES, because in this book, DeVita, with his daughter Elizabeth, an accomplished science author, give a no-holds-barred account of the field...
DeVita’s book, The Death of Cancer, is a personal recollection of one of the most well-known cancer specialists in the world. In a sense it is an Odyssey tale of a highly competent and prolific person who flows with his times and manages the Scylla and Charybdis of Government work. The book is well written and reflective of the man and his times. DeVita started out during the Vietnam era when any male graduating from Med School found themselves, unless otherwise excused, ready for immediate assignment to some military unit. Many of the top students were fortunate to get to go to NIH which was DeVita’s fate, and it was this flow of talent in the late 60s which made NIH and NCI one of the best institutions in the world. Thus the tale of DeVita and cancer starts here with NCI and a flow of excellent talent.
DeVita describes his work on the use of multiple chemotherapy regimens and the resistance from the likes of Farber in Boston, hardly an uncommon occurrence...
First, and foremost, this book truly is a must read, but not so much for the title, which is misleading. The DeVitas detail all the roadblocks, potholes, obstructions and other BS that has impeded the true demise of cancer. Only a small portion (< 10%, perhaps 5%) of this book discusses new inroads to the control of cancer. So why is reading this so crucial? The public needs to know that although cancer touches everyone on this planet, the arena of medicine is not some exalted profession but succumbs to the same greed and ego issues that permeate so-called homo sapiens i.e. sentient man. This is what the authors, mostly Vince, documents.
And the BS continues, and perhaps is even worse than before. The "moonshot" approach to cancer as discussed by Obama and Biden, and the recent speech at the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) meetings in Chicago by Biden on the need for collaboration and collegiality, are but pablum for the people. We just don't seem to...
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