Today’s guest is Charles Graeber (@charlesgraeber), author of the book The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer. Charles tells us about the amazing strides that have been made recently in finding a cure for cancer. The progress is so notable that Charles was comfortably able to use the word ‘cure’ in the book’s subtitle! That means that cancer is on the way to becoming not just treatable but actually curable for millions of people all over the world. The book and today’s conversation center around the fact that up until now, researchers have been on the wrong trail when it comes to finding the answer posed by this deadly disease. Immunotherapy works by leveraging our body’s own immune system to kill cancer cells, which was previously considered impossible by the scientific community. Charles unpacks some of the history of these ideas, why they have remained on the fringes for so long and why they are now being viewed in a new light. We discuss broader trends in medicine and tech and Charles goes quite in-depth explaining what we know so far and how it is and might be used going forward. For an inspiring chat on this life-changing topic, be sure to join us!
Key Points From This Episode:
- The excerpt article that sparked this conversation
- Using the term ‘cure’ in the context of cancer and the role of our immune system
- A solution from inside the body through immunotherapy
- The history of immunotherapy and its development over the last century
- Why immunotherapy has not been popularly explored up until now
- How medical funding and trends play into finding cures
- The way in which cancer cells have evolved over the course of history
- A recap of the recent and current immunotherapy treatments for cancer
- The synergy of immuno and chremo therapies
- Understanding CAR T-cells and adoptive cell transfer therapies
- The ubiquity of cancer’s intrinsic immune inhibitors
- Looking at the continuum of this therapy that started with Coley
- The most exciting recent discoveries in this field.
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