Cover: Between Bench and Bedside in HARDCOVER

Between Bench and Bedside

Science, Healing, and Interleukin-2 in a Cancer Ward

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Product Details


$86.50 • £69.95 • €78.00

ISBN 9780674068094

Publication Date: 01/01/1997


384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 halftones, 4 line illustrations


[F]uture historians of medicine will…have to rely on reports from emissaries to the cancer wards of the 1990s. Between Bench and Bedside is an important contribution to that literature… [Löwy’s] account includes a clear description of the underlying science—which, being immunological, is very complicated. But she is mainly concerned with the way doctors, scientists and patients coped with the gradual realization that interleukin-2 is not all they had hoped it to be.—John Cairns, Nature

Between Bench and Bedside provides the reader with a remarkable view of the culture of clinical experimentation in oncology, in particular, a view of the interactions between the biology laboratory and the oncology ward. In this book, a clinical trial of interleukin-2 (IL-2) begun in 1986 at the Cancer Foundation, a major French cancer treatment center, is critically examined in an attempt to answer the question ‘What can be learned from the study of a semiroutine clinical experiment in a cancer treatment center?’ …By using perspectives borrowed from the histories of science and medicine, the sociology of scientific knowledge, the ethnography of the laboratory and the sociology of medicine, she creates a very realistic picture of this and other clinical trails… Between Bench and Bedside makes for excellent reading and can be highly recommended to immunologists and those among scientists and the public who seek to know more about the challenges involved in developing effective treatments for human malignancies.—Ralph A. Reisfeld, Nature Medicine

[Illana Löwy] is an excellent writer. In Between Bench and Bedside, she provides a rich analytic and descriptive study of the interplay between the worlds of basic biomedical and clinical research in the ‘war’ against cancer.Isis

Between Bench and Bedside is a fascinating journey across many boundaries: between the worlds of the laboratory and the clinic, between the disciplines of history and ethnography, and between medical research communities on both sides of the Atlantic. Löwy’s compelling account of the development of an innovative anti-cancer therapy gives us an important lesson in how biomedicine is able to simultaneously achieve generality while cultivating its local dimensions.—Alberto Cambrosio, McGill University

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