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The Truth in Small Doses

The Truth in Small Doses

Why We're Losing the War on Cancer-and How to Win It

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A “brilliant” (Fortune), eye-opening history of the war on cancer, The Truth in Small Doses asks why we are losing this essential fight and charts a path forward.

Over the past half century, deaths from heart disease, stroke, and so many other killers have fallen dramatically. But cancer continues to kill with abandon. In 2013, despite a four-decade “war” against the disease that has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, more than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly six hundred thousand will die from it.

A decade ago, Clifton Leaf, a celebrated journalist and a cancer survivor himself, began to investigate why we had made such limited progress fighting this terrifying disease. The result is a gripping narrative that reveals why the public’s immense investment in research has been badly misspent, why scientists seldom collaborate and share their data, why new drugs are so expensive yet routinely fail, and why our best hope for progress—brilliant young scientists—are now abandoning the search for a cure. “Through flowing prose Leaf delivers, alongside facts and data, stories on personalities involved in research, the fascinating process of solving an unusual and highly deadly cancer in Africa, and the heartbreaking realities of cancer treatment in children today. Leaf’s extensively investigated treatise will resonate with researchers and patients frustrated by the bureaucratic woes he delineates. Public policy makers, grant reviewers, and pharmaceutical researchers alike must consider Leaf’s indictment and proposed solutions” (Publishers Weekly). The Truth in Small Doses is that rare tale that will both outrage readers and inspire conversation and change.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 512 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476739991 | 
  • August 2014
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Read an Excerpt

The Truth in Small Doses Prologue How Did We Get Here?
Two years before I came to believe that we were losing the “war on cancer,” I had concluded that we were on the brink of victory. The notion had spun out of an extraordinary conversation I’d had in February 2002 with Daniel Vasella, then the chief executive officer of the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis. He was in New York for the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of business titans, statesmen, movie stars, and... see more

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