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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marion C. Cohen, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
Description: This book, part of a series entitled Methods in Molecular Medicine, is a compendium of techniques that are currently being used to develop new treatment strategies that take advantage of what we currently know about the human immune system. Within the series, the format of each chapter generally consists of a discussion of the principle(s) involved in the technique, a list of reagents and equipment, step-by-step laboratory instructions, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls. Each chapter also has a reference list.
Purpose: According to the editors, the purpose is to provide a collection of state-of-the-art techniques to effectively study the adoptive transfer of tailored antigen-specific immune cells for application to human diseases. While there are many methods books available, this one provides carefully described protocols as well as accompanying notes that give hints on troubleshooting and avoiding possible pitfalls. Thus, the book is a useful addition to the library of a researcher who is trying to develop clinical protocols for treatment.
Audience: The editors suggest that a wide variety of basic scientists and clinicians will benefit from this book. Rather than focusing on the target audience, it is perhaps more important that the techniques that are discussed are applicable to many fields including hematology, oncology, molecular medicine, clinical immunology, biotechnology, molecular immunology, immunology, cell biology, biochemical methods, and biomathematics. The authors of each chapter are experts in the techniques they discuss.
Features: The book presents protocols to be used to study dendritic cells, T cells, monoclonal antibodies, bone marrow transplantation for both clinical and preclinical studies. The chapters relating to these individual topics are grouped together and there is a logical flow to the order of the chapters. In addition to the methods chapters, there are several chapters that do not describe actual techniques but describe clinical applications of these cells and reagents. The figures seem to be appropriate for each chapter. All are black and white and, while color is always nice, they convey the information adequately. Each chapter has a list of references. The latest citation is 2004 and there are relatively few of these.
Assessment: This is a useful techniques book to have in the laboratory. The methods seem well described and the section of notes — the little helpful hints that rarely show up in this kind of book — is a very nice touch. If a laboratory is focused on immunotherapy, this book would make a nice addition to its library.