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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce A. Fenderson, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: This book provides a comprehensive review of eukaryotic cell cycle regulation and growth control, with an emphasis on cancer biology. This is an exciting field of study with implications for understanding oncogenesis, wound healing, immunity, and embryonic development. The book includes 21 chapters on diverse topics ranging from regulatory cascades to signal transduction pathways to key mitotic events. Each author pulls together research findings from different experimental systems to comprehensively review the literature.
Purpose: According to the editors, the goals of this book are to present general concepts, experimental strategies, and key findings that enhance our understanding of cell proliferation in normal and neoplastic cells. The contributions are up-to-date and provide readers with extensive reviews of the published literature.
Audience: Written for scientists who have a keen understanding of cell cycle biochemistry, the book is largely focused on protein biochemistry. It is difficult to read unless you are intimately familiar with the terminology and historical development of this field. The authors of the individual chapters are experts.
Features: Beautiful line drawings, color plates, and expert technical writing characterize this book. Each chapter includes an extensive bibliography. The topics are timely, and reflect cutting-edge approaches to our understanding of cell cycle and growth control. For example, I particularly enjoyed reading about the anticancer effects of angiogenesis inhibitors and the temporal-spatial parameters of cell cycle control.
Assessment: This book hopefully will be a stimulus for researchers interested in cell cycle control. Unfortunately, its readability varies from chapter to chapter. The authors assume a high level of prior knowledge, and the over-use of abbreviations (e.g., pea-3, PTEN, p27) creates a major hurdle for non-experts. The authors present details of experimental findings, but do not always take the time to elaborate (or speculate) on broad general principles. In addition, there is considerable overlap between chapters (e.g., most chapters have a discussion of p53). The book would have been improved by the addition of more line drawings and photomicrographs (i.e., more cell biology). However, the book provides a wealth of information and it will be a valuable reference guide for researchers studying mechanisms of normal and aberrant cell growth.