Malignant Liver Tumors: Current and Emerging Therapies (2nd edition)


P A Clavien (ed)
Published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers (2004)
ISBN: 0-7637-1857-2   469 pages plus index
RRP: $278.30


Malignant liver tumours are a major health problem throughout the world. Over the past two decades there has been a rapid growth in our understanding of the epidemiology, etiology and treatment options for these tumours. Keeping pace with this explosion of information is difficult and hence the timely release of the second edition ofMalignant Liver Tumors: Current and Emerging Therapies. This text, edited by five respected clinicians in the field of hepatic oncology, provides an excellent overview of the multidisciplinary approach to primary and secondary tumours of the liver. The strict editorial process has helped make each chapter balanced and well-referenced with minimal overlap of information throughout the book. This edition contains 10 additional chapters and highlights include living-related transplantation, laparoscopic liver resection, oncorviral treatments, as well as an excellent review of alternative medicine options.   

This book is attractively presented in hard cover and is conveniently divided into five parts made up of chapters from contributing experts. The book flows well with the intent that the chapters can either be read sequentially or on their own with equal satisfaction. Black and white illustrations are generally well presented and the tables and graphs are clear and well referenced. The only minor criticism is the poor quality of some of the operative photographs.   

A helpful short summary is provided at the end of most chapters and several key references are flagged. Although this provides an excellent update on frequently used as well as more experimental treatment options for liver malignancies, by the nature of this being a textbook, the references in most chapters are already 3-4 years out of date. Having said that, this still provides a convenient and comprehensive review of the subject. Specialist surgeons or physicians will not find detailed operative or diagnostic information with regard to malignant liver tumours, but the wide coverage of epidemiological information and palliative treatment options more than adequately makes up for this. The chapter on neo-adjuvant treatment of colorectal liver metastases highlights the evolving, multidisciplinary management which inevitably will lead to a larger number of patients being offered definitive or palliative treatment. Some of the discussion in this chapter was, by necessity, repeated elsewhere in the book but this repetition has been kept to a minimum. Several of the tables in a number of chapters were placed out of context which made for difficult reading but again this is a minor criticism only. The chapters on liver malignancies in particular geographical areas (Asia, Africa and South America) and in special populations (HIV patients, the elderly and the pregnant etc) were especially informative.  

I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in malignant liver tumours. This text will be an excellent addition to any library on this subject

Tom Hugh
Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW

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