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Interferon : The Science and Selling of a Miracle Drug - Toine Pieters

Interferon

The Science and Selling of a Miracle Drug

Hardcover

Published: 1st May 2005
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This innovative study charts the beginnings, history and fate of Interferon--one of modern medicine's most famous and infamous drugs. Interferon is part of the medical profession's armory against viral infection, cancer and MS. The story of its development and use is one of survival in the face of remarkable cycles of promise and disappointment as a miracle drug. By telling this story, Toine Pieters' book provides insight into the research, manufacture, and marketing of new bio-molecules that mark modern medical science.
Pieters' closely argued book adopts a multi-disciplinary approach in seeking to trace the extraordinary voyage of interferon. Through the lens of interferon's voyage, the book explores the interaction of the broad range of actors driving medical science such as:
* Biological and clinical researchers
* The pharmaceutical industry
* High-powered government agencies
* Doctors and patients
* The media
The book demonstrates how research on interferon led to new clinical definitions of cancer and a new rationale for therapeutic use of the drug. Interferon provides a marvelous insight into the development of one of the most controversial drugs of our time. It enhances our understanding of how medicine manufacture and marketing all played a part in pushing back the boundaries of research, from the post-penicillin era to the genetics revolution in medicine.
This study is of particular interest to undergraduates and postgraduates in the fields of History of Medicine, Pharmacology, Medical Genetics and History of Science.

'This book is compelling reading for those interested in the interferon story, including the historical background and the scientists behind the discovery. The book is a thorough and readable account that is unique for interferon and has parallels with other major discoveries.' - Samuel Baron, M.D., University of Texas Medical Branch

"I heartily recommend the book to a wide audience, not just those interested in the history and social studies of science and medicine. Pieters has successfully let interferon appear in its multiple guises, its inventions and reinventions, not only in its own right but for all those who handled it. For it is important to remember that identity formation goes both ways: as interferon changed so did its handlers. Enjoy the read." - Dr. Jordan Goodman, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

"The book is pleasant reading and flavored with many interesting and illuminating anecdotes reflecting milestones along the interferon saga" Nature Medicine

'Without doubt a stimulating book, refreshing old debates regarding thenature of biomedicine, the way we write about it, as well as pointing to new frontiers' - Medical History

Introduction
Interferon's Birth Starting a British/Swiss collaboration in a London laboratory Intimate interplay between thought and action in Room 215 Writing 'Interferon' Isaac's Interferon Kitchen
Shaping a New Field of Research: Investigating Interferon(s) Interferon going public The Antiviral Penicillin Misinterpretation From the brink to revival: meeting the others Debating Interferon's mode of operation: the specificity effect What's in a name? The blossoming of a new subfield
Interferon on Trial A partnership originating in national interests Establishing a collaborative programme for research on Interferon Preparations for an early trial in volunteers Handling production and safety problems The Lancet report Interferon losing its momentum No 'magic bullet'
Managing Differences Portrait of a 'gift culture' Creating a breeding-ground for standardization An experiment in scientific communication Safeguarding British interests A Finnish detour Wrestling standards 'Having to haul down one's colours'
About Mice, Malignancies and Experimental Therapies Interfering with cancer Hoping for patients to behave like laboratory mice Mathilde Krim's Interferon lobby Staging a workshop on Interferon in the treatment of cancer Attempts to put Interferon on the cancer map
Interferon, Audiences and Cancer Capitalizing on a growing demand for unorthodox cancer remedies Interferon, scientists and the media Hailing a miracle drug Gene dreams and the inflation of expectations Coping with an imminent black market
Yet Another Twist: Marketing Interferon as a Helpful Neighbour Beyond Interferon A drug looking for a disease Naturalizing Interferons as biological response modifiers and cytokines
Interferons in Retrospect and Prospect Patients at work Crafting Interferon(s) Seeking 'magic bullets' 'Doctoring' the media Toward genetic medicine Patients at risk?
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415342469
ISBN-10: 0415342465
Series: Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 284
Published: 1st May 2005
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.9  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.59
Edition Number: 1