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From The CriticsReviewer: Seungtaek Choi, MD (University of Washington Medical Center)
Description: This book presents a comprehensive review of the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of both non-small cell and small cell lung cancers.
Purpose: It offers detailed discussions of relevant radiation oncology issues, including current treatment recommendations (with discussion of field design and fractionation), potential side effects of radiation therapy and their management, and future treatment strategies and techniques.
Audience: The book is intended primarily for radiation oncologists and radiation oncology residents who treat patients with lung cancer.
Features: The book is divided into four sections. The first serves as an introduction, with emphasis on the biology of lung cancer. Topics such as genetics, molecular biology, and angiogenesis are discussed in this section. The second section, which takes up more than half of the book, offers a very comprehensive review of radiation therapy in the management of non-small cell and small cell lung cancers. Surgery and chemotherapy are also discussed, but to a much less extent than radiation therapy. The results of recent clinical trials (involving these three treatment modalities) are also well summarized in this section. Radiation therapy issues, such as the timing and fractionation of the radiation treatment, field design, and techniques used in treatment (including intraoperative radiation therapy and intraluminal brachytherapy) are discussed in great detail. This section also features chapters devoted to special cases, such as treatment of patients with very advanced disease (for palliation) or patients with recurrent cancer. The third section focuses on treatment-related toxicity and its management. Although this section mainly discusses the side effects associated with radiation therapy to the chest (especially to the lungs and esophagus), there is also discussion of central nervous system toxicity after whole brain radiation therapy. The fourth and final section covers future treatment strategies and techniques, with discussion of emerging radiation treatment modalities (intensity modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, gated therapy), the increased use of new biologic agents, and the use of PET scans to evaluate response after treatment.
Assessment: This is a well-written book, with detailed discussion of the various issues faced by radiation oncologists who treat lung cancer. The authors succeed in presenting a comprehensive review of these complex issues. The only complaint I have about this book is that there are no pictorial representations of standard radiation fields. However, such an omission does not noticeably diminish what is an outstanding textbook. This book would make a fine addition to any radiation oncologist's library.