David Khayat

Paths of Hope Publication date : April 13, 2005

What means are at our disposal today to fight cancer? To answer this question, Professor David Khayat has summoned his great knowledge and expertise, as well as his experience and sensitivity. He shows us here that there are new reasons for hope.
What is the real threat posed by cancer cells? What is the actual power of these cells, with their capacity of multiplying uncontrollably, apparently to infinity? Beginning with a review of scientific discoveries, Khayat offers the reader a fascinating explanation of the existing knowledge of cancer. Allying simple language with an unusual depth of perspective, Khayat leads the reader through the complexities of today's most spectacular medical advances in the field of cancerology. In the process, he explains medical history and molecular biology with as much ease as he recounts the anecdotes with which he illustrates his points.
What can be said about the more common types of treatment? What are the relative merits of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormones? What concepts, models, even ideologies have influenced their evolution? Besides explaining, reviewing and illuminating present-day scientific and medical practices, Khayat does not hesitate to go beyond technical issues and to pose every facet of the essential questions that make up the physician's ethics and the patient's psychology.
The new therapeutic approaches, whether of a general or a more specifically targeted nature, will require a revolution of the existing mind-set. Faced with what can only be described as the intelligence, inventiveness, and unflagging rebellion of cancer cells, it is no longer sufficient to simply eradicate them. Instead, they must be intruded upon and made to survive in different ways - in order to diminish the toxicity of the treatment, improve its efficacy, and enhance the patient's tolerance. This must be done, above all, to re-establish the body's essential harmony, which is the key of life.
Yes, it is possible to cure cancer, writes David Khayat, concluding an extraordinary lesson of hope that combines the scientist's rigour with the humanist's passion.

David Khayat is a professor of cancerology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and the head of the cancerology department at the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpetrière, in Paris. He was recently appointed as a permanent adviser to the Mission Cancer, with the responsibility of implementing one of the major health programmes of President Jacques Chirac's administration.