AIChE Journal Author and CalTech ChemE Mark Davis Discusses Chemotherapy on CBS News

Approaching the problem of cancer as not just a medical problem but as an engineering problem has allowed Mark Davis a chemical engineer and researcher at Cal Tech to solve a persistant problem with our current methods of treating the disease via chemotherapy. Mary Davis, Mark's wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. Undergoing chemotherapy she was bought almost to the breaking point as the therapy ravaged her body and caused permanent damage to her hearing before killing the disease. CBS News interviewed Mark Davis where he explains how he and fellow researchers are working to develop a new way to treat cancer that will avoid the bevy of deleterious side effects traditional treatments like chemotherapy bring along with it.

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Do you think chemical engineers can significantly improve chemotherapy?


Jen's picture

Chemical engineers cannot develop another chemical that will significantly treat cancer. The human body is not made to accept or get well by the use of chemicals. The research should be done on plants. They resonate with the human body.Healing can only take place through the use of plants. It is a waste of good minds,money and time to research anything else.

Rich Byrnes's picture

Interesting perspective, virtually all chemicals made at the hands of chemical engineers are also made in nature through natural processes.  It is our jobs as engineers to enhance the natural chemical thermodynamics in a way that allows for the desired chemical to be produced in a timely and plentiful manner so that the billions of people on this earth can benefit.  A thought to ponder;  just as there are many "naturally" produced chemicals by plants that could kill us in an instant, so too can many thermodynamically enhanced “naturally” produced chemicals (i.e. “man-made”).  The more challenging question for mankind, or chemical engineers, is not “is the chemical natural or man-made”, since all chemicals exist in nature that question is perhaps somewhat academic, but rather have we selected the “right” chemical to reach the desired result, man-made or otherwise.  It is up to us to choose wisely, this is where the chemical engineer makes all the difference.