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Prime Time Radio

Curing Cancer With Genetics

DNA model. The 1959 discovery at University of Pennsylvania of a chromosomal mutation.

Jessica Wapner details how genetic discoveries have affected the future of fighting cancer in her latest book. — Getty

Cutting-edge advances in the science of genetics are being made nearly every day, allowing doctors to detect, prevent or more effectively treat many serious diseases, including cancer.

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Few may realize that the quest to treat cancer began with an accidental discovery over 50 years ago. It was one of the first discoveries of a mutant gene — one that can cause leukemia — that would lead to developing a groundbreaking medication to treat the disease.

Science writer and journalist Jessica Wapner vividly unfolds the history of this discovery and explains the science behind it all in this Prime Time Radio interview. Her new book, The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level, also details how these discoveries have affected the future of fighting cancer and credits the scientists and doctors who made them.

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