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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jacqueline S. Jeruss, MD (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This book provides a relatively detailed review of the current thinking regarding basic breast cancer research and its therapeutic applications.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an overview of some of the most recent advances in the understanding of breast cancer genetics, pathogenesis, and therapeutics.
Audience: It is geared toward graduate students and scientists involved in breast cancer research, and physicians specializing in the care of breast cancer patients.
Features: Extensive information about a multitude of topics associated with breast cancer genetics and possible causative factors in breast cancer progression is provided. This book also includes both a generalized overview of breast cancer therapeutics as well as the most current thoughts on experimental treatment ideas. The chapter, "Hereditary Breast Cancer Genes," is extremely well covered, especially the discussion of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations in the Ashkenazi population. The chapter on psychological issues surrounding genetic testing is particularly strong because of its use of case examples. The discussion of surgical and chemotherapeutic approaches is thorough and cohesive, as is the chapter on drug resistance and the implications of the MDR gene.
Assessment: This book could have had less repetition, which is a direct result of its multiple contributors. Additionally, stronger introductory chapters would have provided better organization and flow of the book's content. On a whole, this is an excellent resource for researchers in the field. Texts such as Lynch's Genetics and Breast Cancer (Van Nostrand Reinhold,1980) and Lippman's Genes, Oncogenes, and Hormones: Advance in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992) are key to providing background on breast cancer genetics and basic science. This book stands out in that it provides a comprehensive approach to the relevant advances in breast cancer research as they apply to therapeutics, an approach that has been missing in the recent literature.