Controlling Cancer: Today's ebook review at Download the Universe

By Carl Zimmer | February 27, 2012 10:59 am

Download the Universe, the new science ebook review that I and a group of other writers and scientists recently launched, is now entering its second week. I’ve written this week’s first review, of an ebook called Controlling Cancer, by evolutionary biologist Paul Ewald. Ewald argues that the best way to reduce the death rate from cancer is to treat it like an infectious disease–which, to a surprising extent, it really is. Check it out.

[Image: Dividing lung cancer cell/NIH]

Comments (1)

  1. Daniel J. Andrews

    Is the cancer-virus connection making a comeback then? IIRC (and I probably don’t) the discovery of chicken sarcomas caused by a virus resulted in a huge push to find other cancer-causing viruses and a promise of an innoculation against cancers in the 70s. It started the whole War on Cancer meme (was that Nixon?).

    Years went by though and this approach failed to be very productive as there weren’t that many viruses that could be shown to cause cancers. Instead, they found very complex pathways, none of which acted like an infectious disease.

    Have things changed around again, or is Ewald’s approach specific to just a few viruses like HPV, or bacteria (H. pylori), leaving the vast majority of cancers still only treatable by rather extreme means?

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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