SCIENCES

Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life’s Oldest Betrayal

BenBella. Oct. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781950665303. $16.95. MED
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Science writer Arney (Herding Hemingway’s Cats) questions the search for a cure for cancer, and instead explains its evolutionary nature, and how this perspective is helping researchers develop different treatment paradigms for aggressive variants of the disease, e.g., metastatic cancers. The idea is that these conditions would respond to “adaptive” treatment and be considered more of a chronic condition, with peaks and troughs of treatment. All multicellular organisms, including humans, have certain cells that will learn and adapt to “cheat” the environment (the body), become resistant, and lead to cell corruption, the author explains. Arney continues to explain that there needs to be a treatment methodology that maintains a significant number of healthy cells to combat the rebel cells, and refutes the argument that cancer is a new disease created by modern living. Included are explorations of research, experiences of patients and practitioners, and ever-changing treatment methodologies.
VERDICT Arney has successfully managed to wrangle a huge amount of complex information into one significant volume. Readers are given a vision of potentially powerful future treatments, as there is hope that strategies will evolve ahead of the rebel cells. Essential for medical and consumer health collections.

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