Second Screen Experience
Jump To
Episode Three
Available April 1, 2015

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.

Bert Vogelstein

Explore additional content related to Bert Vogelstein and his research on colon cancer and genetic mutations.

Show More

About Bert Vogelstein

A young researcher at Johns Hopkins University, Bert Vogelstein set out to learn more about mutated genes that give rise to cancer. He focused on colon cancer because it is a slow moving disease that is easy to monitor over time. His studies revealed that colorectal cancers are the result of sequential accumulation of mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. A true pioneer in the field.

Dr. Suzanne Cole

Explore additional content related to Dr. Suzanne Cole and the patients she treats.

Show More

About Dr. Suzanne Cole

Suzanne Cole, M.D. is a Hematologist & Oncologist at CAMC in Charleston, West Virginia.

Campaign to Stop Smoking

Show More

About the Campaign to Stop Smoking

The anti-smoking campaign began in 1964 when the Surgeon General definitively linked smoking and lung cancer.

“The classification of tobacco smoke as a potent carcinogen — and the slow avalanche of forces unleashed to regulate cigarettes in the 1980s — is rightfully counted as one of cancer prevention’s seminal victories.” *

* The Emperor of All Maladies – Siddhartha Mukherjee (pg. 276)

Emily Whitehead

Explore additional content related to Emily Whitehead's story.

Show More

About Emily Whitehead

Emily Whitehead is a six-year-old child afflicted with leukemia. After a full relapse, which gave her less than a 30% chance of survival, she became a pioneer in new immunotherapy treatments.

Doug Rogers

Show More

About Doug Rogers

Doug Rogers is a 60-year-old NASCAR mechanic with melanoma who undergoes a breakthrough immunotherapy treatment under the care of Dr. Steven Rosenberg.

Latest Comments

PBS/WETA

Join the Conversation

Share your thoughts about tonight's episode and engage with other viewers in real time.

Join Now

Cancer Films (@CancerFilm)

See Tweet

Cancer Films

Join the Conversation

join the conversation

Episode Three

"Finding an Achilles Heel"

Back to Top