Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Last Rose of Summer by Mary Austin - Book Tour

Medical Fiction

Date Published: June 25, 2020

Publisher: Archway Publishing

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While working independently as a pre-med student at Cleary University, the soon-to-be physician, Mary Austin, discovers a remarkable, non-toxic drug that could offer tremendous hope to cancer patients. Her work is headed for publication in a top medical journal until a drug company begins negotiations with her bosses from which she is mysteriously excluded.

Amid egregious sexual harassment, Mary's materials are blatantly sabotaged. As death threats follow and her work becomes impossible, she is accepted at Whitehead College of Medicine despite evidence that her bosses tampered with her application process. After becoming a pediatrics resident, she shares her story with her beloved mentor, Dr. Daniel Taylor, who allows her to temporarily leave her residency training to reproduce the work. Her joy turns to sorrow and then determination when she learns that Dr. Taylor is battling terminal pancreatic cancer. Even as a chain of events prompts the sabotage of Mary's drug stock and leaves her seemingly without any choice but to permanently leave academic medicine, the story of her drug is not over yet.

In this novel inspired by a true story, after a young cancer researcher discovers a breakthrough drug that could change chemotherapy, the drug industry suppresses the breakthrough and transforms her life and career forever.



Promising Results Lead to Drug Company Involvement

I was introduced to clinical researchers who were to develop the drug at the academic center, but Dr. Cromm also involved a drug company named Dullahan Pharmaceuticals. For a while, Dr. Cromm remained as elated about the drug as he had been on that April day, telling me at one point, “Mary, I wish I could be back at the lab bench, doing this with you!”

 Dr. Everton subsequently invited me to a party Dullahan was throwing for the lab, and I came, embarrassed that I hadn’t known about it that morning. As luck would have it, I had to show up to a nice restaurant right after work wearing ripped jeans and that same damn greenish T-shirt, which had been that morning, as in times past, the only one that passed the smell test. Now, after a day in lab, it doubtless didn’t even do for that; nevertheless, I went, and I spoke with representatives from the company all evening.

 Afterwards, Dr. Cromm became more guarded with me, and Evan had closed-door meetings with the drug company, to which I was not invited.



About the Author

Mary Austin is the pseudonym for a physician who, in order to publicize a suppressed discovery in cancer research, had to sacrifice first her academic career, then a career as a board-certified pediatrician, and then her personal safety. She would do it again.

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