The Molecular Basis of Cancer 2nd edition

Reviewed by:


Mendlesohn (Ed)
Published by W B Saunders (2001)
Distributed by Harcourt Australia
ISBN: 0-7216-7291-4. 666 pages plus index.
RRP: A$386.65

This second edition is a comprehensive up-to-date summary of the known molecular genetics in relation to cancer as at the year 2000. It would function as an excellent literature resource for research laboratories, academic teaching hospitals, cancer centres, and specialist departments. There are 62 authors, mainly from the USA and Canada. The edition is divided into four sections covering the areas of malignant transformation, growth and spread of cancer, molecular pathogenesis of specific malignancies, and about 200 pages on the molecular basis of cancer treatment. In addition, there are chapters on molecular mechanisms of chemo-prevention and differentiation therapy, and counselling for heredity cancer risk. Figures, diagrams and tables are plentiful. Chapters are well set out with appropriate headings and sub-headings and each chapter has an extensive reference list. Chapters tend to focus on data indicating what is currently known and what isn’t, without undue speculation. The section on “specific malignancies” is limited to lymphomas, leukaemias, childhood cancers, lung, colorectal, breast, prostate, ovarian cancers and melanoma, with no specific chapters on rarer malignancies. However, specific molecular genetic abnormalities involved in rarer malignancies are referenced in other sections.

The section on the “molecular basis of cancer therapy” is quite comprehensive with chapters on drug resistance, radiation, monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, cancer-specific vaccines and gene therapy.

In summary, this book would serve as an ideal reference point for scientists and clinicians in training as well as providing valuable reviews and updates for established clinicians and scientists.

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