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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Emily Berry, BA, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This comprehensive and current textbook addresses all relevant areas of gynecologic oncology, from disease sites and multidisciplinary treatment modalities, to cancer biology and special topics in patient care. The fourth edition, an update from the 2000 publication, continues to be aimed at the specialist in cancer care and is authored by leaders in the related fields.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is threefold: first, to present a text with disease-specific chapters written by a multidisciplinary team of authors; second, to provide the most up-to-date information available about gynecologic malignancies; and third, to highlight the increasing use of multimodal therapies when treating gynecologic malignancies. These are worthy objectives for many reasons. Using authors from the fields of gynecologic oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and pathology ensures that the reader is presented with a comprehensive view in the sections dedicated to disease sites. Each of these specialties is crucial to the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic malignancies and this book effectively and consistently combines all the relative and current information. There is no doubt when reading the book that the most up-to-date information related to diagnosis and, especially, treatment is presented, with references easy to locate in the bibliography. In sections discussing treatment options for various disease sites, the authors review historical data and end with mention of trials still accruing data. Finally, in regards to multimodal therapies in the field of gynecologic oncology, not only does the book have chapters on radiation oncology and chemotherapy in general, it also has chapters highlighting relatively newer treatment modalities such as immunotherapy, anti-angiogenesis agents, and novel radiotherapy techniques.
Audience: According to the three authors, the book is written for specialists in cancer care, including gynecologic and surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. The authors further assert that the book is also designed to be of assistance to residents and fellows in training for a career in cancer care. I find it is most relevant for the gynecologic oncologist at the level of fellow and above. While it certainly could be useful for residents, the chapters covered material to a depth beyond the needs of newcomers to this topic. The authors are without a doubt credible authorities.
Features: This book covers a variety of topics relevant to the field of gynecologic oncology. In addition to the chapters on individual disease sites, it dedicates space to epidemiology of cancer, cancer cell biology, and biostatistics. In addition, topics in perioperative management, surgical principles, radiation oncology and chemotherapeutic agents are highlighted in depth. Finally, topics particular to care of the cancer patient are included, from pain management and treatment side effects to quality of life and end of life issues. What is best about this book is the solid foundation it provides the reader seeking knowledge about not only the basics, but also the more novel topics related to gynecologic oncology. In particular, the chapters related to specific disease sites are extremely comprehensive in both their material and bibliography of referenced sources. A reader should truly regard this book as their main source of information for the disease sites, and use the bibliography to more thoroughly explore current literature, especially literature pertinent to the treatment of the various diseases. Features particularly unique to this book include a section of color plates (photographs etc.) that can be easily accessed while reading through the book. They demonstrate classic examples of surgical anatomy, clinical exam findings, and characteristic radiographic appearances related to the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. In addition, a concise and helpful chapter on diagnostic imaging techniques in gynecologic oncology not only explains what each modality is used for, but also gives advice on which imaging modality to use in a variety of clinical scenarios. Also, the chapter on innovative 21st century therapies provides the latest developments in all arenas of novel therapeutics, a topic that is increasingly important in gynecologic oncology. Finally, there is a section on international, national, and grant-making organizations relevant to gynecologic oncology. In terms of shortcomings, the chapters on radiation oncology and breast cancer are almost too comprehensive for the novice on these topics, and the nutrition chapter could use more visual aids to break up the text.
Assessment: This is truly a staple in the library of any gynecologic oncologist. Particularly useful for fellows and faculty in the field of gynecologic oncology, the book will also be useful for specialists in medical and radiation oncology. More than any other comprehensive book specific to gynecologic oncology, this one should be regarded as the authoritative text, most certainly in light of the additions made to this edition.