Unlike most diseases, cancerous tumors are not foreign invaders but "take on the appearance of alien life forms, invaders that enter the body through stealth and begin their programs of destruction from within." But as Weinberg shows, these are deceptive appearances. And since he is foremost a scientist, he finds the truth "subtle and endlessly interesting" and manages to convey fascination for something that most of us dread--cancer. Much of the present increase in cancer is due to increased longevity because "given enough time, cancer will strike every human body."
By telling the story of the historical discovery of cancer, Weinberg is able to introduce gradually the intricacies and complications of the genes and proteins involved (oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, etc.) for the general reader. He characterizes cancer cells as renegade because, unlike normal body cells, they "disregard the needs of the community of cells," they are "selfish and unsociable," and are only interested in "their own proliferative advantage." By comparison, normal cells hold down cell numbers by "inducing them to commit suicide" (apoptosis).
The understanding of cancer has been developed enormously over the last few decades by Weinberg and the worldwide community of researchers. As Weinberg eloquently shows, cancer research and its related disciplines "have moved from substantial ignorance to deep insight." --Douglas Palmer, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Having just finished reading this on July 15/03, I found it very informative and enjoyable to read. This is a must read if you really want to understand the mechanisms of cancer! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kim
There are very few books out that give the reader an overview modern cancer biology. This short book gives a clear picture of a complex and current subject. Read morePublished on April 10 2004 by David Fourer
No prior knowledge of cell biology or genetics is required. I have gained an appreciation for the complexity of cancer research thanks to the book. I highly recommend it. Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2002 by Canay
The aspect I liked most about the book is the lucid writing. A vast topic such as cancer has been masterfully explained in simplistic terms. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2002 by "19785542"
It is amazing to find out that we know so much about how cell biology and cancer works. I would have thought that these details would be all that is needed to find a cure for... Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2001 by Albert Vara
this is a great book for people who know nothing about cancer and want to know. I had a chance to meet the author after he gave a lecture about his research and it was really... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2001
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, I frantically read everything I could lay my hands on to try to understand what was happening to her. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2000 by Renaaah