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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jane N. Winter, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is the third edition of this book on high-dose cancer therapy. A full five years have elapsed since the prior edition, and many advances well-described in this volume have occurred.
Purpose: The focus in this volume is on "high-dose cancer therapy" rather than on "just bone marrow transplantation." This is a difference in orientation. Much of the content expected in a text on "BMT" is in fact included. This is a worthy objective, and the editors are successful in providing a text that complements others that emphasize "transplantation" or attempt to cover all aspects of high-dose treatment including allo- and autotransplantation and multi-cycle intensive therapy.
Audience: The authors state that they target specialists in hematology/oncology from the fellowship to "faculty or practice levels." Certain of the chapters are sufficiently general so as to be accessible to physicians, students and trainees outside the specialty. The editors and contributors are internationally acclaimed experts in their field
Features: The scientific basis, rationale, technical aspects, and clinical applications for high-dose chemotherapy are the subject of this text. Although the orientation is that of the "autotransplanter," allogeneic transplantation (including matched unrelated donor and umbilical cord blood transplants) and immunologically based therapies (such as nonmyeloablative or minitransplants and donor leukocyte infusions for the treatment of relapsed disease) are discussed to some degree. Individual chapters are outstanding whereas others express only a very limited viewpoint, where contributors fail to summarize the work of others in the field. Additional attention to multicycle therapy and a comparison to double and single transplants in the context of a discussion on dose-intensity would seem to be warranted. There are some redundancies that are difficult to avoid in a book such as this. In the supportive care chapters, it would be valuable to distinguish those complications that may be associated with autotransplantation from those that are most commonly associated with allogeneic transplantation; it would be valuable to address the relative frequencies of certain complications in auto- vs. allo- patients. Additional illustrations would improve the attractiveness of the volume.
Assessment: This is a valuable book that will serve both as a reference and as a readable, accessible text for anyone interested in cancer therapy. It complements other texts in the field such as Forman's Bone Marrow Transplantation (Blackwell Publications, 1994) and Atkinson's Clinical Bone Marrow Transplantation: A Reference Textbook (Cambridge University Press, 1994.)