This volume contains seven review articles on various unrelated areas of research potentially leading to new therapeutic drugs. Also included are various indexes of the contents of the 54 volumes of the series. The purpose of the series is to disseminate information about actual trends and crucial points in drug research. The seven chapters include an eclectic collection of contributions dealing with gastrointestinal absorptions, appetite suppression, neuropeptides, regulation of NMDA receptors by ethanol, diabetic drugs, and developmental biology. Each of the chapters is well written by experts in the respective areas, and the contributions are directed towards other biomedical researchers in each of those areas. Because there is no theme to the volume, any given researcher is likely to be interested, at most, in a single contribution. Most of the areas are rather narrow, such as the effect of one drug (ethanol) on one receptor subfamily (the NMDA receptors of the glutamate receptor family). On the other hand, one chapter is very broad and contributors attempt to cover all of the neuropeptides in 20 pages. Thus, several important families of peptides, such as the opioid peptides are just superficially covered in a single page. A nice feature of the book is that pictures of most of the contributors are included at the start of the various chapters. This book will be of interest to a subset of researchers whose area of interest happens to correspond to one of the seven chapters. They will find their chapter of interest to be useful, although probably not as current as an article from a recent review journal.
Volume 45 of Progress in Research (PDR 45) contains eight reviews and various indexes which facilitate its use and establish the connection with the previous PDR volumes. The chapters in this volume deal with neuropeptides, calmodulin, benzodiazepine receptor binding sites, and other topics. PDR has been in existence for 36 years. The series is published twice yearly, at which time the chemical, pharmacological, and clinical aspects of pharmaceutical research are discussed. With this new volume, the author's intention is to disseminate drug research information and to provide the reader with a valuable resource tool. Although the numerous volumes of PDR do meet many of the objectives of the author, textbooks become outdated quickly; journal articles are often preferred. The PDR series is an encyclopedic information source focused on a variety of research topics. The reviews are useful to nonspecialists and specialists (primarily pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacologists). Readers can conveniently obtain an overview of a particular field of drug research. In addition, active researchers will appreciate the reviews' comprehensive bibliographies as well as the new research ideas. The book is well illustrated. All figures, tables, and drawings are easily understood. The illustrations greatly add to the understanding of the research topics. The references after each chapter appear to be current and highly pertinent to the subject matter discussed. This book represents the various chemical, pharmacological, and clinical aspects of pharmaceutical research. The series will help the researcher to secure significant research data quickly and thoroughly aswell as to acquire fresh ideas. It is most valuable to the researcher as a library reference, although bookstores may also want to purchase this reference.
The series presents, in volumes published twice yearly, larger survey articles on topical fields of pharmaceutical research in which the chemical as well as the pharmacological and clinical aspects are discussed. Volume 44 contains six reviews that deal with problems of drug discovery during "the golden age of drug research," with histamine H1-receptor agonists, with antifungal therapy, with antifolates in cancer therapy, with menses-regulating agents, and with developments in anticonvulsants. The reviews are extensively referenced and the volume concludes with a subject index to the volume and cumulative indexes of titles and of authors/papers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Reviewer: Thomas L. Pazdernik, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This volume 58 in the Progress in Drug Research series contains six well written and timely reviews: Drugs, the human genome, and individual-based medicine by Jay A. Glasel; Herbal medicine of Wisconsin Indians by Vera M. Kolb; The impact of multiple drug resistance (MDR) proteins on chemotherapy and drug discovery by Paul Skatrud; Potassium channels: gene family, therapeutic relevance, high-throughput screening technologies and drug discovery by John W. Ford, Edward B. Stevens, J. Mark Treherne, Jeremy Packer and Mark Bushfield; Dual serotonin and norepinephrine uptake inhibitor class of antidepressants- potential for greater efficacy or just hype; and Advances in QSAR studies of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors by Satya P. Gupta.
Purpose: The purpose of this series is dissemination of information on trends and developments, discussion of crucial points, and creation of new prospects on future drug design. The reviews in this volume uphold the high standards and reputation of this very valuable series that was initiated in 1958. This is a valuable resource for any individual who works in drug research or drug discovery.
Audience: This series is targeted towards scientists working in the field of drug discovery, but the reviews in this volume should be of interest to both practitioners and experimentalists who have an interest in the topic. The first review should have wide audience appeal to individuals in the field of medicine.
Features: The first review addresses the feasibility of targeting drugs towards differences in individual's proteins based on genetic variations. The optimism that many held regarding individual-based medicine from research on the genome project is dampened by this report as Jay Glasel provides examples of how both genetic and epigenetic effects are important in determining an organism's interaction with its environment. He also discusses the ethical problems associated with using databases containing individual sequence data. The review by Vera Kolb provides a wealth of information about the use of medicinal plants by the Wisconsin Indians. She provides the reader with information science tools that are appropriate in searching the literature for new information on active ingredients of medicinal plants and relating this information to their cultural use. The review by Paul Skatrud deals with multiple drug resistant proteins. The author address the problems associated with resistance to valuable therapeutic agents used in the treatment of disease caused by bacteria, fungi, and parasites, as well as how a better understanding of these processes can be beneficial in drug discovery and natural product production. The review on potassium channels by John Ford et al., emphasizes the mechanistic bases of drug-target interactions in potassium channel drug discovery. It is important to identify lead compounds in order to develop important therapeutic agents that modulate the potassium channel. The fifth review by Wong and Bymaster demonstrates that drugs that block the uptake of both serotonin and norepineprhine may be superior antidepressants compared to those that only block the uptake of a single monoamine neurotransmitter. In the final review, Satya Gupta applies quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors providing valuable insights into the design of dugs for the treatments of AIDS.
Assessment: This is a high quality series and this volume has six excellent reviews. Although the series is targeted towards scientists with an interest in drug discovery, these six reviews are written with such clarity that anyone with an interest in the topic would find this book a worthwhile read. Each chapter has a biographical sketch of the author(s), a summary of the review at the beginning of the chapter, and a glossary of the terms and abbreviations that is extremely valuable for the non-expert. I highly recommend these reviews.