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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Peter Kopp, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book compiles a rich selection of articles that focus on the multidisciplinary management of patients with thyroid cancer. The chapters have been written by a group of internationally recognized experts.
Purpose: The stated goal of this publication is to improve the outcome in the treatment of thyroid cancer, and the wealth of information should contribute to this goal. A strength is its focus on a multidisciplinary approach, including a discussion of recent trends, and many of the chapters contain useful practical information. Unfortunately, this book precedes the recent publication of comprehensive guidelines in the United States and in Europe for the evaluation and treatment of thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules; a discussion of these widely used guidelines would have been of value.
Audience: The book is targeted at physicians and advanced nurse practitioners in endocrine surgery, endocrinology, nuclear medicine, and oncology. The editors are recognized authorities in the field.
Features: After an excellent introductory chapter, several contributions summarize the management of patients with thyroid cancer discussing the approach generally used in the United Kingdom. This is followed by more general sections on the diagnosis, surgical and nonsurgical management, and the surveillance of patients with thyroid cancer, in particular well-differentiated carcinomas. More specialized sections address the management of medullary thyroid carcinoma, aspects of thyroid cancer in children, imaging modalities, the management of rare and aggressive forms of thyroid cancer, and emerging therapies. The format and content of many, but not all, chapters are of high quality. The book contains many useful illustrations, albeit of variable graphic quality.
Assessment: This is a useful publication with many excellent chapters written by experts for physicians and advanced practice nurses involved in the evaluation and treatment of patients with thyroid tumors. The fact that recent guidelines could not be discussed (because of the publication date) is unfortunate since a discussion of these guidelines would have been useful. A more thorough discussion and links to ongoing clinical trials for patients with advanced disease would have further strengthened the book. A more critical discussion of the indications and limitations for radioiodine therapy in low risk patients would have been desirable. Including the perspective of a patient is a good idea, but it is limited to an anecdotal report that is not representative. It would have been valuable to summarize the invaluable contributions of patient support groups such as ThyCa. Similarly, it is interesting and refreshing to include the perspective of a general practitioner. However, more careful editing by experts in this field would have easily eliminated a series of misconceptions and inaccuracies. It is disturbing to read in one of the chapters that "some patients have been told that DTC (differentiated thyroid cancer) is the best cancer to have" without a critical comment by the author! As in other fields of medicine, there are controversies in the management of patients with thyroid cancer and this is also reflected in the contradictory statements and recommendations in various chapters of this multiauthored book. Overall, this book can be recommended for anyone interested in the care and controversies surrounding the practical management of patients with thyroid cancer.