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The Story of Taxol Nature and Politics in the Pursuit of an Anti Cancer Drug

by Vivien Walsh

  • ISBN: 9780521561235
  • ISBN10: 052156123X

The Story of Taxol Nature and Politics in the Pursuit of an Anti Cancer Drug

by Vivien Walsh

  • List Price: $66.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780521561235
  • ISBN10: 052156123X
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Description: Taxol is arguably the most celebrated, talked about, and controversial natural product in recent years. Celebrated because of its efficacy as an anticancer drug and because its discovery has provided powerful support for policies concerned with biodiversity. Talked about because in the early 1990s the American public was bombarded with news reports about the molecule and its host, the slow-growing Pacific yew tree. Controversial because the drug and the yew tree became embroiled in several sensitive political issues with broad public policy implications.

Taxol has revolutionized the treatment options for patients with advanced forms of breast and ovarian cancers and some types of leukemia; it shows promise for treating AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. It is the best-selling anticancer drug ever, with world sales of $1.2 billion in 1998 and expected to grow. Goodman and Walsh's careful study of how taxol was discovered, researched, and brought to market documents the complexities and conflicting interests in the ongoing process to find effective treatments. From a broader perspective, The Story of Taxol uses the discovery and development of taxol as a paradigm to address current issues in the history and sociology of science and medicine.

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