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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lamis A Shatat, MBBS (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: Part of the Pattern Recognition Series, which approaches pathology diagnosis based on pattern recognition, this book focuses on soft tissue malignancies.
Purpose: The aim is to address a gap in the literature by diagnosing tumors by their pattern, rather than by the line of differentiation, which is the classic approach.
Audience: Pathologists and pathologists in training are the intended audience for this book, as well as the series. It is a most helpful guide to forming differential diagnoses for soft tissue tumors, leading the way to the final diagnosis in most cases. The author is well known for his interest in soft tissue tumors and immunohistochemistry.
Features: The book starts with a pattern-based approach to diagnosis, with tables that outline several patterns, and includes references to the chapter and pages where a tumor is covered. Then it discusses tumors based on cytology (spindle cells, epithelioid cells, biphasic, etc.), extracellular matrix (myxoid for example), and distinguishing features (like giant cells and inflammatory cells abundance). The discussion then turns to tumors that are easily identified by their differentiation, like adipocytic and osseous neoplasms. Also included are tumors peculiar to specific anatomic sites, such as cutaneous and lower genital soft tissue tumors. Molecular testing and its application are discussed in a separate chapter. The book is full of "at a glance" tables, has plenty of representative images, and summarizes important points quite often. The material is presented in an easy-to-follow fashion, with consistent organization and format. The only shortcoming is that it does not include the latest WHO classification of soft tissue tumors updates, which just came out.
Assessment: This is the first book in this series I have read. It is an interesting way to present pathology diagnosis, by using pattern recognition. The book helps with one of the most difficult dilemmas general pathologists face and need to resolve.