More information about controversial Cancer book.



Gerald B. Dermer, 'The Immortal Cell; Why cancer research fails' Avery Publishing Group USA 1994, 212 pages ISBN 0-89529-582-2.

More than 50,000 North Americans die of cancer every year. Yet while billions of dollars have been spent on research over the course of forty years, we still have no effective treatments for the vast majority of advanced malignancies. Why are we loosing the war on cancer? In his new book, The Immortal Cell; Why Cancer Research Fails, Dr. Gerald B. Dermer, a dedicated cancer researcher, provides a clear, accurate, and startling account of perhaps the biggest blunder in the history of science and medicine.

Scientists depend on cells growing in petri dishes in their laboratories to give them information on human diseases. These petri dish cells, called cell lines, serve as models for human cancer cells. Cell lines are cultures of cells that are derived from tumors or normal tissue. But unlike any real tissue, normal or cancerous, these cells are immortal - they can grow forever on the bottoms of petri dishes. And it is these manmade creations that have become the favorite cancer model in the majority of research laboratories throughout the world. But what if these immortal cells have been providing misleading - or, worse, completely incorrect - information, heading scientists in the wrong direction?

The Immortal Cell tells an alarming story of unsound science, and the pressures that lead scientists to do unsound work. It carefully details how researchers have squandered time, money, and lives in pursuing an enemy of their own making. It lets you in on what is really going on in the war against cancer.

Dr. Gerald B. Dermer received his B.A. in biophysics, M.A. in genetics, and Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of California at Los Angeles. After two years of post-docteral research in biochemistry at the University of Lund in Sweden, Dr. Dermer returned to Los Angeles and the Pathology Department of the Hospital of the Good Samaritan. There he began his research on human cancer, joining the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

After twelve successful years in clinical and basic research, Dr. Dermer moved to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, where he continued laboratory research for three more years. For the past ten years, Dr. Dermer has pursued his interests in cancer, pathology, and biotechnology as an independent consultant and writer.

  • Here you will find an introduction from the author.
  • An article by Dermer published in Bio/Technology can be found here.