Interferon: The Science and Selling of a Miracle Drug (Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine)

Interferon: The Science and Selling of a Miracle Drug (Routledge Studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine)

By: Toine Pieters (author)Paperback

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This innovative study charts the beginnings, history and fate of Interferon - one of modern medicine's most famous and infamous drugs. Interferon is part of the medical profession's armoury against viral infection, cancer and MS. The story of its development and use is one of survival in the face of remarkable cycles of promise and disappointment as a miracle drug. By telling this story, Toine Pieters' book provides insight into the research, manufacture, and marketing of new bio-molecules that mark modern medical science. Pieters' closely argued book adopts a multi-disciplinary approach in seeking to trace the extraordinary voyage of interferon. Through the lens of interferon's voyage, the book explores the interaction of the broad range of actors driving medical science: *biological and clinical researchers *the pharmaceutical industry *high-powered government agencies *doctors and patients *the media. The book demonstrates how research on interferon led to new clinical definitions of cancer and a new rationale for therapeutic use of the drug. Interferon provides a marvellous insight into the development of one of the most controversial drugs of our time. It enhances our understanding of how medicine manufacture and marketing all played a part in pushing back the boundaries of research, from the post-penicillin era to the genetics revolution in medicine. This study is of particular interest to undergraduates and postgraduates in the fields of History of Medicine, Pharmacology, Medical Genetics and History of Science.

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About Author

Toine Peters is senior research fellow at the Department of Metamedica of the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, and Professor of History of Pharmacy at Groningen University, the Netherlands.


Introduction 1. Interferon's Birth Starting a British/Swiss collaboration in a London laboratory Intimate interplay between thought and action in Room 215 Writing 'Interferon' Isaac's Interferon Kitchen 2. Shaping a New Field of Research: Investigating Interferon(s) Interferon going public The Antiviral Penicillin Misinterpretation From the brink to revival: meeting the others Debating Interferon's mode of operation: the specificity effect What's in a name? The blossoming of a new subfield 3. Interferon on Trial A partnership originating in national interests Establishing a collaborative programme for research on Interferon Preparations for an early trial in volunteers Handling production and safety problems The Lancet report Interferon losing its momentum No 'magic bullet' 4. Managing Differences Portrait of a 'gift culture' Creating a breeding-ground for standardization An experiment in scientific communication Safeguarding British interests A Finnish detour Wrestling standards 'Having to haul down one's colours' 5. About Mice, Malignancies and Experimental Therapies Interfering with cancer Hoping for patients to behave like laboratory mice Mathilde Krim's Interferon lobby Staging a workshop on Interferon in the treatment of cancer Attempts to put Interferon on the cancer map 6. Interferon, Audiences and Cancer Capitalizing on a growing demand for unorthodox cancer remedies Interferon, scientists and the media Hailing a miracle drug Gene dreams and the inflation of expectations Coping with an imminent black market 7. Yet Another Twist: Marketing Interferon as a Helpful Neighbour Beyond Interferon A drug looking for a disease Naturalizing Interferons as biological response modifiers and cytokines 8. Interferons in Retrospect and Prospect Patients at work Crafting Interferon(s) Seeking 'magic bullets' 'Doctoring' the media Toward genetic medicine Patients at risk?

Product Details

  • publication date: 12/09/2012
  • ISBN13: 9780415648660
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 284
  • ID: 9780415648660
  • weight: 458
  • ISBN10: 0415648661

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