Chronic Leukemias and Lymphomas


GJ Schiller (ed)
Published by Humana Press (2003)
ISBN: 0-8960-3907-2. 327 pages plus index.
RRP: US$135.00


This compact volume is one of the Current Clinical Oncology series and is edited by Gary Schiller from the UCLA School of Medicine. It consists of 12 chapters written by a total of 22 authors. The majority of contributors are haematologists from American institutions and include such authoratative figures as KR Rai. Each chapter is individually referenced and the format is that of a collection of up-to-date review articles, rather than a classical textbook.

Chronic Leukemias and Lymphomasaddresses the aetiology, clinical features, pathology, prognosis and management of the chronic haematological neoplasms. Chapter one is an interesting summary of the history, epidemiology and risk factors relating to chronic leukaemias. Subsequent chapters cover each of the chronic leukaemias, including chronic lymphocytic, hairy cell, prolymphocytic and chronic myeloid types, lymphomas (low-grade, aggressive large-cell and Hodgkin’s disease), the myeloproliferative syndromes and multiple myeloma. Two less common disorders, Sézary syndrome and the Large Granular Lymphocyte proliferative diseases, have a chapter each and over 20% of the total text devoted to them. Despite the apparent overemphasis of epidemiologically rarer disorders, these two chapters review in comprehensive detail topics that may not be so well-covered elsewhere.

The preface to the book states that its purpose is to focus on the biological features of the diseases. The best example of this aim is found in chapter nine, in which there is a very detailed description of immunophenotypes, cytokines, HHV-8 and chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in relation to multiple myeloma. The use of multiple sub-headings in this section helps maintain clarity and readability, as it does throughout the book.

As a trainee in Haematology, I found the thorough sections on clinical management in each of the chapters especially useful. Currently accepted regimens, and the evidence for them, are well-outlined, as are the relevant studies referenced to enable further reading. Recent advances and concepts, as well as ongoing trials, are also described. The emphasis on current treatment options also makes this text a useful resource for clinical haematologists and oncologists managing patients with the disorders described.

At a cost of US$135 this book is unlikely to be purchased by individual trainees, however it would be an excellent reference in a Haematology department’s collection or hospital library.

A Johnston
Dept of Haematology
St Vincent’s Hospital
Darlinghurst, NSW

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