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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Wui-Jin Koh, MD (University of Washington Medical Center)
Description: This book is the newest volume in the series Cancer Treatment and Research that explores focused topics in oncology.
Purpose: It describes recent advances in the radiological sciences, primarily from physics/computer technology and biologic standpoints, and how such progress has influenced the practice of radiation oncology. It allows the reader to recognize the clinical potential of ongoing basic science investigations and identify future research directions.
Audience: It is intended for radiation oncology physicians and residents. Its broad overview of current research and its clinical applicability in radiation oncology also make it useful for radiation biologists and physicists.
Features: This book is organized into three general sections: advances in electronics and computer technology; increased understanding in traditional radiobiology and molecular biology; and the promise and challenges of implementing new technologies in clinical radiation therapy. It introduces the reader to some of the terminology and concepts associated with exciting areas of contemporary research. The clinical perspectives provided in chapters 11 and 12 provide a useful framework for understanding the incorporation of technological advances into routine practice. However, it may in a sense be a victim of its own ambitious agenda by trying to cover too many disparate topics in a limited format. For example, chapters 7 and 8, which describe gene therapy and cell cycle manipulation, are on one hand intriguing and informative to the general radiation oncologist, but at the same time overwhelming and confusing in their level of abridged complexity.
Assessment: Many in medicine have espoused the notion of translational science, but relatively few have been able to effectively bridge the gap between basic science investigation and clinical practice. This book represents a unique and generally successful attempt to provide that needed link, and will serve to facilitate better understanding and communication between the various sub-disciplines in radiation oncology.