Description: This is a "working text" designed to be informative and promote active use of the book in the clinic as well as in "collaborative ventures" with others caring for long term survivors of childhood cancer. It is organized by physiologic systems, identifying the potential late effects that could affect long-term survivors. The references are complete with key primary papers and major review articles indicated as such for the benefit of the user.
Purpose: The editors have successfully achieved their goal of providing a summary of current knowledge regarding late effects of childhood cancer. Whether their stated larger goal for this book to promote multicenter studies of interventions to "prevent, treat or modify late effects" in this patient population is achieved will require the test of time and the citation record for this book. The authors of individual chapters impartially indicate where a void of data prevents establishing conclusions. They also identify areas of controversy and need for further study. In addition, that the changing design of treatment protocols will require altered expectations of late effects is underscored in discussions of the fate of future survivors.
Audience: This book is most appropriate for physicians, nurses, social workers, and psychologists providing comprehensive care and assessment of long-term survivors of childhood cancer.
Features: Physicians in training are brought quickly to the significant issues faced by the survivors survivors of treatments recently or long out of use that the trainee is unfamiliar with. A "modular e-text" of the chapters in this book would facilitate reproduction of the chapters and thereby education of the endocrinologists, urologists, cardiologists, and other specialists providing consultation to the long-term survivor population. Promulgation of these individual chapters could enhance the "collaborative ventures" sought for these patients. Useful "Key Points" provide a succinct summary at the end of each chapter highlighting the major facts and remaining questions.
Assessment: This is a timely addition to the field of pediatric oncology as the biopsychosocial impact of survivorship and follow-up of the long term survivors has gained increasing recognition. It provides a comprehensive update to Survivors of Childhood Cancer: Assessment and Management, Schwartz et al. (Mosby, 1994), for those providing care to long-term survivors of childhood cancer. Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Practical Guide to Your Future, by Keene et al. (O'Reilly and Associates, 2000), is directed to childhood cancer survivors and their need as adult survivors to understand prior treatments (sometimes given in infancy or early childhood) and advocate for their own health needs. The recently published Childhood Cancer Survivorship: Improving Care and Quality of Life, by the National Institute of Medicine (National Academy Press, 2003), highlights the issues facing long-term survivors but is not the comprehensive reference that this book is. In the chapter on quality of life issues, Dr. Christine Eiser states, "Ultimately, cure is about controlling the disease, but it is also about preserving dreams and maximizing potential." Preserving dreams and maximizing potential of childhood cancer survivors is the focus of the editors of this book and they have succeeded ably.