Book takes new look at cancer treatments

When Christopher Cogle, M.D., was in medical school, he knew he wanted to study cancer because of the amount of unknowns in the field. Cogle likes to go where others haven’t.

But recently, the UF assistant professor of medicine conquered an unknown of his own by co-editing his first textbook, “Cancer Microenvironment and Therapeutic Implications,” which was published in April.

During Cogle’s time in Italy two years ago, Gianfranco Baronzio, approached him about collaborating on a book. They agreed that the cancer microenvironment—all the interactions around and among cancer cells—deserves more focus in discovering more effective treatments for cancer rather than focusing solely on the genetic aspects.

The book targets physician-scientists like Cogle, who leave the clinic hoping that their lab work will someday make a difference in their cancer patient’s lives.

“When you have one foot in the lab and one foot in the clinic,” he said. “You live every day with a sense of urgency that is a tremendous inspiration to try to find answers for cancer patients.”

More than half of the book focuses on making clinical applications of therapies more effective and also describes some new therapies.

Cogle wrote one of the book’s chapters and did a majority of the editing, drawing mainly on his experience as a professor to communicate ideas.

His UF colleague, Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D., professor and associate chair of research in the Department of Radiation Oncology, co-authored a chapter with a colleague in Denmark about increasing the effectiveness of radiation treatment. Siemann said the book offered the opportunity to take many different ideas about cancer treatment under the unifying principle of manipulating the microenvironment for better therapies.

He knows the challenges of editing and writing a book, having been an editor himself. Since he’s known Cogle for about five years and is currently working on a few papers with him, Siemann saw these qualities in his fellow researcher.

“He’s a pretty energetic and keen guy,” he said. “I’m not surprised that when he had the opportunity to do something like this that he would be interested in doing it.”