Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Shalini Shenoy, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a timely book focused on the pediatric indications and aspects of stem cell transplantation written by fairly well known and recognized medical personnel in the field.
Purpose: This book is an overview of pediatric stem cell transplantation in malignant and nonmalignant disorders. The book covers the important aspects of stem cell transplants, especially those features unique to pediatrics such as family support, psychosocial issues, cord blood cells, etc. These aspects are not usually addressed in generic transplant related books. The author's objectives are fairly well met.
Audience: The book is written for pediatric transplant related medical personnel. In my opinion, it is more a chronicle of events that have improved the quality of transplantation in pediatrics. It serves well as a handy book for transplant personnel who are just entering the field and need an overview and some insight into the process. It does not go into very much detail on recent advances, pitfalls, and approaches.
Features: The book covers indications, supportive care, conditioning regimen, stem cell sources, immunotherapy, and complications of pediatric stem cell transplantation. Historical perspectives and the evolution of transplant methods are described well in the book and make for interesting reading. The separation and arrangement of chapters is well done, to assist with referring to the book. The major shortcomings are a paucity of figures, an excess of long-winded sentences that would make reading/understanding harder for the transplant novice, and a failure to refer to recent innovative advances/experiments in the transplant process. Some chapters tend to rely quite a bit on personal communications and opinions that are not supported by evidence-based medicine, though the impressions may be correct.
Assessment: This is a useful book for the medical professional seeking to enter the field of stem cell transplantation to understand the evolution of the process better and to remember to entertain a global perspective of pediatric transplantation. Reading is a little difficult in view of the predominantly prose form of the book, but it does contain the necessary information if the reader seeks a general overview. There is a paucity of pictures and smears and cartoons, which may have helped to imprint the message better in the reader's mind.