Finding an Achilles Heel
This episode picks up the story at another moment of buoyant optimism in the cancer world: Scientists believe they have cracked the essential mystery of the malignant cell and the first targeted therapies have been developed. But, very quickly, cancer reveals new layers of complexity. By the second decade of the 2000s the cancer cell yields to a more ordered picture, revealing new vulnerabilities and avenues of attack. This episode includes patients Doug Rogers, a 60-year-old NASCAR mechanic with melanoma, and Emily Whitehead, a six-year-old child afflicted with leukemia. Each is a pioneer in new immunotherapy treatments, which the documentary follows as their stories unfold.