Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is a collection of preferred papers from a sponsored scientific symposium on cancer pain in July 1992. Topics covered are basic mechanisms of pain perception, methodology for pain research, and management of particular problems in patients with cancer pain.
Purpose: The authors put forward three purposes for this volume: to honor John J. Bonica as a pioneer in the field of cancer pain, to provide a sourcebook for research methodology and patient management, and to call attention to researchers for new animal model for cancer pain. These goals are worthy, but this book does not achieve them well. Rather, it provides a compilation of selected contributions from experts in the various fields involved in cancer pain.
Audience: The most likely readers of this book will be specialists in cancer pain management or pain research. They will likely be in academic settings. The book will be most useful as a reference book, either on the shelf of an academic physician or in the library.
Features: One cannot help but be impressed by the breadth of expertise that was assembled at this symposium and contributed to this book. Despite its overall dour exterior, the articles are generally well illustrated. The printing is of good quality.
Assessment: The scope of the different approaches to the subject of cancer pain by the various contributors is so broad that it deprives the book of any focus. For the serious student or researcher interested in a particular article, it should be available as a reference book. The conference from which these papers came was the third in an annual series.