Michael Kinch discusses his book The End of the Beginning: Cancer, Immunity, and the Future of a Cure
Monday 6/17, 7 pm
For the first time since a 5th century Greek physician gave the name “cancer” (karkinos, in Greek) to a deadly disease first described in Egyptian Papyri, the medical world is near a breakthrough that could allow even the most conservative doctors and pragmatic patients to use the other “c word” – cure – in the same sentence as cancer. A remarkable series of events has brought us to this point, thanks in large part to a new ability to more efficiently harness the extraordinary power of the human immune. The End of the Beginning is a remarkable history of cancer treatment and the evolution of our understanding of its dynamic interplay with the immune system. Through Michael Kinch’s personal experience as a cancer researcher at Washington University and the head of the oncology program at a leading biotechnology company, we witness the incredible accumulation of breakthrough science and its rapid translation into life-saving technologies that have begun to dramatically increase the quality and quantity of life for cancer patients. Expanding upon Kinch’s own remarkable projects to encompass the vaccines being deployed to eliminate cervical cancer, the development of cancer-specific “smart bombs” in the form of monoclonal antibodies, cellular therapies, and checkpoint inhibitors—The End of the Beginning reveals the incredible transformation of cancer treatment happening today. Kinch details the remarkable history of people, science, technology and disease and presents thrilling next-generation technologies that hold the promise to eliminate cancer for some, and perhaps ultimately, for all.
Michael Kinch was a professor at Purdue University, where he researched breast and prostate cancer. He then went on to found an oncology program at the biotechnology company MedImmune. He has led research and development activities at Functional Genetics, Inc. and lead drug discovery at Yale University. He is now a professor and Vice Chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis and is the author of Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity.