Lung Cancer – Principles and Practice

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Lung Cancer – Principles and Practice
H Pass et al (Eds)
Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISBN: 0-7817-1791-4. 1,116 pages plus index. A$358.60

This second addition of Lung Cancer Principles and Practice is a three-year update of a book intended as a comprehensive reference for anybody with an interest in lung cancer. The format covers details in sections: Biology of Lung Cancer, Aetiology/Epidemiology/Screening/ Early Detection and Prevention, Pathology, Clinical Presentation/Diagnosis/Staging and Prognosis, Surgery, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Treatment of Small Cell Lung Cancer, Palliation and Special Considerations and Statistics and Trial Design. All sections have sub divisions written by experts in their field. Dr David Ball, head of Lung Unit Radiation Oncology at Peter MacCallum Clinic, Melbourne, wrote the chapter on prophylactic cranial irradiation in small cell lung cancer. The editors note that the proliferation of information on cell biology of lung cancer has led to inclusion of details of FHIT, Telomerase and erb B-2, as well as to the intricacies of the cell cycle and angiogenesis. Lung cancer immunology and gene therapy are completely updated and the newest elements of genetic susceptibility are in a separate chapter. Technical changes in processing material for molecular evaluation are discussed, as is the use of these techniques in defining pre-neoplasia at the chromosomal/genetic level. The newer improved cytotoxic agents and their interaction with radiation is a welcome up date.  Presentation of the book is traditional and a little dry. However all the information is there and extremely well referenced at the end of each chapter and well indexed overall. For example for the chapter on Biology of Lung Cancer, General Concepts there were 574 references. Overall it is not the type of book one normally would read from cover to cover but rather reference from time to time. In the surgery area combined cancer resection and lung volume reduction surgery is addressed but there may be too much on the pre-operative preparation of patients. Basically surgeons don’t want patients to just scrape through surgery, and all the barrage of tests to assess patients with borderline lung function are discussed, but as we all know are rarely used in practice. However knowing that the management of lung cancer is multi-disciplinary, this book certainly covers all areas and for each person managing lung cancer the details of others’ specialties is excellent.

Overall, for its price, it is very good value and having a book like this on the shelf would obviate the need for Medline searching etc, when researching special areas in lung cancer for basic and up to date information.

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