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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Charles E. Edmiston, Jr., PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This fascinating text lays out the epidemiologic and scientific data supporting a microbial role in the etiology of human neoplasms.
Purpose: The multiauthored book presents a broad and cogent discussion of the current scientific knowledge of both the mechanisms of infection-induced malignancies and the potential role of specific microbial populations (bacteria, viruses, and other parasites) in the epidemiology and etiology of cancer.
Audience: The structure and written style make this book appropriate for a rather broad audience, including microbiologists, healthcare epidemiologists, and other investigators interested in the causal etiologies of cancer.
Features: The text is well organized, citing many specific examples of the potential microbial involvement in the induction of cancer. The role of chronic inflammatory changes and cellular regeneration as premalignant events associated with tissue-based infections is clearly discussed in the first section of the text. The editor has also included an excellent chapter on viral oncogenesis, introducing the reader to viruses currently associated with human neoplasms and agents suspected as playing a role in the development of human cancers. Many of the chapters presented in the text are extremely timely, such the role of H. pylori in gastric adenoma and lymphoma. In addition, two chapters are devoted to Hepatitis B and C virus and evidence that links these agents to hepatocellular carcinoma. Each chapter contains numerous critical references, and where appropriate tables and figures support the textual material.
Assessment: The editor has provided an outstanding if not unique resource that carefully documents the current evidence linking microbial agents to human cancer. The list of internationally recognized contributors makes this an authoritative and valuable resource for any investigator or student interested in this area of research. I highly recommend the acquisition of this text, either as part of one's personal library or as an institutional holding.