Dr. William Coley was a cancer surgeon at the turn of the 20th century. In an effort to improve the treatment he could offer his patients, he created a toxin that made them really sick. If they recovered from their fever, however, they were often cured of their sarcomas.
A century later, cancer researchers are taking a new look at Coley’s toxin and how it might help us understand spontaneous remissions and the role of the immune system. In exploring this topic, we encounter an innovative immunologist who has developed a new paradigm for how the immune system works.
Guest: Uwe Hobohm, PhD, is a cell biologist and Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Applied Sciences in Giessen, Germany. He has worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel. He is the author of Healing Heat: An Essay on Cancer Immune Defence.
Polly Matzinger, PhD, is an ex-Playboy bunny turned scientist. At the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, she is section head of the Ghost Lab, more formally known as the section on T cell tolerance and memory of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology. In her private life, she trains award-winning sheep dogs. The photo is of Polly and her dog Annie.
This is the first in a 3-part series on cancer and the immune system.