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From The CriticsReviewer: Al B. Benson III, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is the fifth edition of this comprehensive textbook of oncology, updating the previous edition published in 1993.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide comprehensive and current information concerning the full range of modern cancer patient management for all the oncologic diseases, plus descriptions of the biology and developing areas of oncology.
Audience: Practicing oncology physicians, including medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists, are the audience.
Features: The book consists of 68 chapters, with up to nine sections in each, written by 290 contributors. The text has now been organized into four parts, the first and newest of which is "Essentials of Modern Oncologic Science," focusing on molecular biology, signal transduction and immunology. Part 2, "Principles of Oncology," further expands on concepts of molecular biology and discusses etiology, epidemiology, cancer management, pharmacology, and clinical trial design. "Practice of Oncology" is the third part and provides details of cancers of organ systems, with a focus on coordination of medical, radiation, and surgical oncology treatments by stage. Prevention, imaging techniques, specialized technologies, supportive care, societal issues, and unproven alternative methods are also discussed. Part 4 includes newer approaches to cancer treatment, such as gene therapy, cancer vaccines, antiangiogenic therapy, and radiation therapeutic strategies.
Assessment: The three internationally prominent editors are authorities in laboratory and clinical oncology and represent the three dominant modalities of medical, radiation, and surgical oncology. The reorganization of the text into four parts and the increase in the number of contributors has resulted in a welcome expansion of topics beyond those available in the otherwise excellent fourth edition. The three new chapters in Part 1 covering the essentials of oncology biology are of particular importance to the practicing oncologist, given the rapid developments in molecular biology and immunology. Indeed, this emphasis on molecular biology and the effect on oncologic principals and practice are woven throughout the succeeding three parts of the book. New chapters on cancer prevention, ethics, quality of life, healthcare reform, and regulatory issues are critical additions to the book. Concluding chapters offer excellent insight as to the evolving developments in cancer therapy.