Dr. James S. Welsh, author of Sharks Get Cancer, Mole Rats Don't

Event date: 
Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 2:00pm

A Room of One's Own welcomes Dr. James S. Welsh for a reading and discussion of his research into cancer, as described in his new book Sharks Get Cancer, Mole Rats Don't: How animals could hold the key to unlocking cancer immunity in humans.

This fascinating exploration of new directions in cancer research focuses on the important role of the immune system in combating this dread disease. Integrating clues from the animal kingdom, the veterinary clinic, extraordinary human cases, and even embryology--a cancer physician, biologist, and physicist--creates a novel and compelling account of tumor immunology and the promises of immunotherapy.

As the author explains, animals offer us many tantalizing clues about the nature of cancer in humans. Tasmanian devils are on the verge of extinction due to a virulent form of contagious cancer; dogs also contract a contagious form of cancer but they spontaneously overcome it; and a type of mouse and the homely mole rat are not susceptible to the disease at all.

In humans, there are rare instances of spontaneous cures of advanced cancers induced by radiation. An uncommon form of dwarfism called Laron syndrome confers total cancer immunity on the people who inherit the condition. And recent laboratory research indicates that cancer has usurped the mechanism that protects the embryo from hostile reactions from the mother's immune system.

The author makes a convincing case that what all of these diverse examples have in common is the immune system and its ability or inability to respond to malignancies. He concludes with a review of the exciting research on the human immune system and the development of new drugs that are inducing the immune system to combat even the most deadly forms of cancer.

Event address: 
315 W. Gorham St.
Madison, WI 53703-2218
Sharks Get Cancer, Mole Rats Don't: How Animals Could Hold the Key to Unlocking Cancer Immunity in Humans Cover Image
ISBN: 9781633881549
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Prometheus Books - March 29th, 2016