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An Amazon Best of the Month Book
"For all the insight he offers into the hard science and thorny logistics of studying cancer, Dr. Scadden’s most moving passages consider the effect of the disease on the people who suffer from it and those who care for them." —The Wall Street Journal
A doctor’s riveting story of loss and hope in the world of cancer.
What is it like to encounter cancer? How does it feel to face the unknown, to enter a world of hope, loss, and dread?
From the diagnosis of his childhood friend’s mother to his poignant memories in the lab, David Scadden’s seen the unknown world of cancer from the lens of a young boy, a classmate, a researcher, a friend, a doctor, and a neighbor. Scadden chronicles his personal memories of cancer – his visits to his sick neighbor and his classmate who left school and never came back.
Now Dr. David Scadden, co-founder of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and one of the world's leading experts on immunology and oncology, writes his memoir, Cancerland, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D'Antonio. With riveting stories and moving compassion, Scadden and D’Antonio paint a still rapidly changing landscape in the context of all too common stories of loss. Ranging from Scadden’s personal childhood memories to his triumphs and regrets as a doctor, Scadden illuminates a light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Through opening a window into the science of medicine in the world of the unknown, Scadden and D’Antonio humanize cancer while inspiring action that we all so desperately need.
Advanced Praise for Cancerland
"As co-founder of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Scadden is partly responsible for numerous medical breakthroughs through bone marrow stem cell research. He reminds readers that those dismal days of scant hope are gone and that the promise of modern technology and radical curative immunotherapies (including those he continues to develop) is making cancer a disease "that changes people's lives, but [is] something they can speak of in past tense."...Illuminating reading on the legacy of a cancer authority." —Kirkus
"In Cancerland, he expertly combines his personal stories of treating patients with the history of cancer treatments. A thorough examination of the history and advancements made in treating cancer patients by a physician and researcher." —Shelf Awareness
"A leading immunologist and oncologist, Scadden examines the disease’s recent history through interconnected lenses... Scadden’s own eventful life in the lab (not least, his co-founding of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a highlight." —Nature
"In Cancerland, Dr. Scadden brilliantly unravels the position cancer occupies in our collective history and consciousness with intimacy and candor. He notes our collective debt to the scientists who laid the groundwork for the remarkable advances we will see to fruition in our lifetime. And he reminds us that medical science is truly a labor of love, done in service of society, and that the advances of science are truly worthy of not only our investment but our awe. Cancerland depicts medicinal science as it truly is: humbling, heart-breaking, complex and inspiring." —Rana Awdish, author of In Shock
"Trying to understand the scientific underpinnings of cancer and the mysterious ways in which various cancers arise and spread is daunting. Stopping cancer in its tracks and curing it is an even more formidable task. Dr. David Scadden, a gifted physician scientist, has penned (with Michael D'Antonio) a dazzling and optimistic medical memoir that describes his personal life-long journey to use his scientific knowledge to combat one of the most complex diseases ever known and serve humanity. Scadden writes with humility, compassion and a sense of unbridled duty. Read this book and you will feel your heart expand and your spirit soar." —Sanjiv Chopra, author of The Big Five
“Cancerland is a gripping memoir that will appeal to aspiring physicians and scientists, people touched by cancer, and anyone curious about biomedical research and its unprecedented opportunity to enhance human health.” —Jeffrey S. Flier, MD, former Dean of Harvard Medical School, Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine
"Scadden’s beautifully-written Cancerland takes us through the uncertainty, the pain and heartache, and the triumph of caring for cancer patients. He also shows us the hard work, the frustrations, and the joys of searching for a cure for cancer. This book will give you hope.” —Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Levy University Professor, Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School