Endocrine Tumors


OH Clark et al (eds)
Published by BC Decker (2003)
Distributed in Australia by Elsevier.
ISBN:  1-5500-9134-4.  239 pages plus index.
RRP:  A$333.30

This book on endocrine tumours is part of the Atlas of Clinical Oncology series (G D Steele Jr et al) from the American Cancer Society. It also contains a CD with full text and illustrations as searchable PDFs. The book is structured by endocrine organ systems, dealing sequentially with the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, endocrine pancreas and “other”, which includes a chapter each on the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 and 2 syndromes (MEN 1 and MEN 2). Two to five chapters are devoted to each organ, being specific for a particular tumour type, eg phaeochromocytoma/paraganglioma and adrenocortical carcinoma, constitute two of the five chapters under the adrenal glands.

Chapter authors are largely writing from the perspective of updating the reader on options for clinical management of patients with endocrine and neuroendocrine tumours, including surgery, medical treatment, and in the case of MEN 2, the availability of genetic testing. Chapters are rich in figures, including photographs of resected surgical specimens, physical manifestations of diseases such as Graves’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome, imaging including computed tomographic and sestamibi scans, as well as detailed histopathology and line illustrations. Chapters are, in general, well referenced.

This book would be an excellent text for students interested in endocrinological tumours/syndromes or endocrine surgery, or for the more established clinician looking for a quick reference text or teaching tool. It is not written with the molecular biologist in mind, although a scientific researcher wishing to learn more about the endocrine diseases would benefit from reading relevant chapters. Some genetics is presented in the chapters on differentiated thyroid carcinomas, including information on the RET receptor mutated in medullary thyroid cancer and the RET/PTC rearrangements seen in papillary thyroid carcinoma. A screening, diagnostic and treatment algorithm for genetic testing in patients with medullary thyroid cancer is presented that would be helpful for those involved in the clinical management of this condition.

In sum, this text should constitute a useful reference that is well placed in the Atlas of Clinical Oncology series.

D Marsh
Kolling Institute of Medical Research
The University of Sydney, and
Royal North Shore Hospital
St Leonards, NSW

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