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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James G Douglas, MD, MS (Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County)
Description: This is the second edition of comprehensive radiation oncology handbook that concisely summarizes treatment guidelines, staging, and pertinent studies for each organ system/pathology. The previous edition was published in 2007 and with the rapidity with which radiation oncology technologies are changing, the second edition is necessary.
Purpose: Radiation oncology is a literature-driven field and keeping pace with the accepted standard of care for any particular organ system/pathology can be overwhelming. This book provides a general framework for each organ system in a fashion that is remarkably organized and readable. It details sentinel studies with an emphasis on those having the greatest impact on current treatment practices.
Audience: The primary audience is radiation oncology physicians, both residents and senior level physicians, and medical students. Medical/surgical oncologists wishing to get a better perspective on the field of radiation oncology may find this book useful as well. It has an element of practicality that is not always apparent in other radiation oncology books, and it generally focuses on the things readers NEED to know.
Features: The book is organized according to organ system and focuses on treatment guidelines, staging, and the pertinent literature that supports current practice. A section in each chapter details clinical pearls and, toward the end of each chapter, practical instructions are provided for patient set-up for simulation, dose/fractionation schema, acute/chronic toxicities, and dose-limiting structures. The second edition is even more organized with tabs on pages and color highlights making it easier to find the desired information.
Assessment: This is a must-have handbook for any radiation oncology resident or student. It is also a very helpful guide for attending physicians. It will, however, require updating every two to three years to remain the valuable resource that it is. The only "weakness" I find is that it barely fits in my pocket!