The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

One topic that appears over and over again throughout Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology is cancer. In Section 8.8, Russ Hobbie and I discuss using magnetic nanoparticles to heat a tumor. Section 9.10 describes the unproven hypothesis that nonionizing electromagnetic radiation can cause cancer. In Section 13.8, we analyze magnetic resonance guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MRgHIFUS), which has been proposed as a treatment for prostate cancer. Section 14.10 includes a discussion of how ultraviolet light can lead to skin cancer. One of the most common treatments for cancer, radiation therapy, is the subject of Section 16.10. Finally, in Section 17.10 we explain how positron emission tomography (PET) can assist in imaging metastatic cancer. Despite all this emphasis on cancer, Russ and I don’t really delve deeply into cancer biology. We should.

Last week, I attended a talk (remotely, via zoom) by my colleague and friend Steffan Puwal, who teaches physics at Oakland University. Steffan has a strong interest in cancer, and has compiled a reading list: https://sites.google.com/oakland.edu/cancer-reading. These books are generally not too technical but informative. I urge you to read some of them to fill that gap between physics and cancer biology.

Steffan says that the best of these books is The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Ken Burns has produced a television documentary based on this book. You can listen to the trailer at the bottom of this post. If you are looking for a more technical review paper, Steffan suggests “ Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation,” by Douglas Hanahan and Robert Weinberg (Cell, Volume 4, Pages 646–674, 2011). It’s open access, so you don’t need a subscription to read it. He also recommends the websites for the MD Anderson Cancer Center (https://www.mdanderson.org) and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (https://www.dana-farber.org).

Thanks, Steffan, for teaching me so much about cancer.

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, Trailer with special introduction by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Cancer Puzzle

Originally published at http://hobbieroth.blogspot.com.

--

--

--

Professor of Physics at Oakland University and coauthor of the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Wuhan Lab Leak Theory: Here’s Why Covid-19 Researchers Need to Utilize Blockchain Technology

“Quantum entanglement” Science-Research, November 2021, Week 4 — summary from Arxiv

“Genome Sequencing” Science-Research, February 2022, Week 4 — summary from DOAJ, PubMed, Europe…

“CRISPR” Science-Research, December 2021, Week 3 — summary from Europe PMC, Wiley Online Library…

READ/DOWNLOAD=# Biology Essentials For Dummies FUL

Once Were Leafy…

13th Century orchids painted on brown silk. Fragile lavender & white petals & malachite green leaves like grass. Chinese.

“Functional Genomics” Science-Research, April 2022, Week 1 — summary from PubMed and NCBI Gene

“Multiple Sclerosis” Science-Research, December 2021, Week 3 — summary from ClinicalTrials.gov,

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brad Roth

Brad Roth

Professor of Physics at Oakland University and coauthor of the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology.

More from Medium

Here’s Why Aerodynamics Can Save You Money

Past Predictions About The Future — And How They Went

The Principal of Competitors vs Supporters: Jiu Jitsu Principal #1

Foodie Feature: Jackson Sizemore