This is storytelling at its best. The journey of the author's upbringing and how her experience with myriad cultures has informed Dr. Weeraratna's work in the pursuit of understanding and defeating cancer as we know it is fascinating. Her story is particularly inspiring for anyone who might be interested in pursuing a career in STEM.
Dr. Weeraratna's amalgam of her personal history, her lab's cutting-edge research on the increasingly important link between cancer and aging, and the promise, hopes, and limitations of future anti-cancer therapies is a beautifully accessible account for scientific and nonscientific audiences alike.
This clear and optimistic insider's view on how cancers form and become aggressive, and what's being done to alter their courses toward remissions and recovery, is a captivating read for anyone whose life has been touched by the disease. Dr. Weeraratna—an acclaimed researcher on age-related differences in how people respond to certain cancer treatments as well as a fierce advocate for junior faculty, women, immigrants, and people of color in science—presents the human side of medical lab work and will inspire budding future scientists from underrepresented backgrounds and other countries.
As Winston Churchill noted, 'The past no longer enables us even simply to measure the future.' This certainly describes the blinding pace of cancer research today, including Dr. Weeraratna's investigations at the vanguard of aging's impacts on metastases and treatments. This book is told through the eyes of a woman whose fighting spirit was sparked in her formative years in Sri Lanka and Lesotho. Her determination brought her to the United States as a college student and led her to prestigious positions at the National Institutes of Health, the Wistar Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and as a member on President Biden's National Cancer Advisory Board. The clear, fascinating narrative of both the nature of cancer and advancements in the campaigns against it provides us with evidence-informed hope from her own and others' labs that we're actually beginning to 'measure the future' of this horrible disease.
The intriguing complexities of cancer—how it develops into a deadly disease, its extraordinary resilience against treatment, its attacks on the immune system, and its interplay with aging—are unveiled before the reader's eyes while being immersed in Weeraratna's life stories. She takes us on a captivating journey through what shaped her as a person and as a scientist, revealing how each step in her career added a new piece to the puzzle of her research.
1. The Nature of Cancer
2. The Role of Cancer Research
3. Breaking Through
4. Is Cancer Inevitable?