Hello out there, and happy 2012.
Work in Progress has gone a little quiet lately, and that will change soon. Though not today. In the meantime, I wanted to share some nice news, which is that my book-in-progress is now official. “The Philadelphia Chromosome – The Epic Quest to Tame a Single Deadly Gene” will be published in Spring 2013 by The Experiment, a NY-based independent publishing company.
This story will chart the forty years of pathbreaking discoveries that first unraveled the link between DNA and cancer, and the subsequent struggle to bring to market the drug that cures one particularly deadly cancer (chronic myelogenous leukemia).
Many readers of this here blog will be familiar with some parts of this story; in particular, the development of Gleevec and some of the tales of woe and heroism that led to this drug’s success and blockbuster status. But there is so much more to tell. So, so, so much more – from the first spotting of the Ph mutation in 1959, back in time to how science figured out that humans have 46 chromosomes (a fascinating story in its own right that involves castrated patients from psychiatric institutes among other strange facts, twists, and turns), and into the advent of personalized medicine, or at least our fixation with its potential. Most importantly, this story provides a clear-eyed, behind-the-scenes look at how drugs are made: the science, the medicine, the money, the bureaucracy, and all of the other very human aspects that guide the bringing of a new medicine into the world.
I am totally jazzed, thrilled to the gills, and over the moon to have a chance to put it all down on paper. After living with a book proposal for almost five years, I’m still pinching myself. Now the task is to do the story justice. It’s an incredible tale that has so much relevance to our world today.
Thanks for reading this little update. I’ll still be posting here regularly, hopefully even more frequently, during the next few months, so – more soon.