RJ Ginsberg (ed)
This book on lung cancer is one of the Atlas series by the American Cancer Society. This volume is edited by Robert J Ginsberg, a well-known and leading clinician researcher in the field of lung cancer.
The book is divided into 13 chapters ranging from the epidemiology of lung cancer to clinical features, work-up and selected chapters on the therapy of this awful disease.
Overall the atlas is beautifully presented with succinct text descriptions as well as numerous high quality photographs and some schematic drawings. The colour reproduction is very realistic, making this a very attractive book to read even when one has just a few minutes to spare. The converse is that while most topics are very well written and concise, there is only a limited reference list and the very interested will need to look further into primary citations. Nevertheless, the atlas does a very good job at being an atlas.
Each chapter is generally very readable and highlights many of the most important issues in current lung cancer management. Clearly, there are rapid advances in certain aspects of lung cancer management that mean that some of the newer innovations are not well covered, such as endobronchial and endoscopic ultrasound. On the other hand, it is very strong in areas where there has been adequate time for a new test or intervention to be evaluated. It would have been nice to have a little bit more on spiral CT (low dose) for lung cancer screening because of its highly topical nature.
In terms of the therapy chapters, important concepts and practical management issues are well-discussed. The chapter on the advances in the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer is very clear in terms of the possible agents that have proven efficacy. It would have been nice to have a bit more on the targeted biological therapies, which admittedly is discussed briefly in chapter 13. This chapter contains a hotch-potch of various topics, which though mentioned in the earlier chapters, are nonetheless important for their potential impact in the future.
Overall, this book is a very beautifully illustrated atlas, produced in combination with concise descriptions. It also comes with a mini CD-ROM and will be an important component of any substantial library of lung cancer publications.
Department of Thoracic Medicine
The Prince Charles Hospital