Dr. William Coley was a cancer surgeon at the turn of the 20th century. In an effort
to improve the treatment he could offer his patients, he created a toxin that made
them really sick. If they recovered from their fever, however, they were often cured of
A century later, cancer researchers are taking a new look at Coley's toxin and how
it might help us understand spontaneous remissions and the role of the immune
system. In exploring this topic, we encounter an innovative immunologist who has
developed a new paradigm for how the immune system works.
Guest: Uwe Hobohm, PhD, is a cell biologist and Professor of Bioinformatics at the
University of Applied Sciences in Giessen, Germany. He has worked at the European
Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel.
He is the author of Healing Heat: An Essay on Cancer Immune Defence.
Polly Matzinger, PhD, is an ex-Playboy bunny turned scientist. At the National
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, she is section head of the Ghost Lab,
more formally known as the section on T cell tolerance and memory of the
Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology. In her private life, she trains
award-winning sheep dogs. The photo is of Polly and her dog Annie.