Dx/Rx: Leukemia


JM Burke
Published by Jones and Bartlett (2006)
ISBN: 0-7637-2738-5  208 pages including index
RRP: US$65.00

Part of the Dx/Rx Oncology series this pocket-size handbook is a ‘current, quick and concise’ reference for wards and clinics as stated by the editor. However, the editor does not clarify who will find this a useful reference. Judging by the medically technical terminology and the clear and concise emphasis on diagnosis and treatment this is not a book for junior staff, nursing or medical. Written by a physician who is board certified in haematology, oncology and internal medicine, this reference book is a handy guide for those who diagnose and prescribe for patients with leukaemia, as in fact the title suggests.

The book is well set out and moves logically from one leukaemia to another, including related myeloproliferative disorders, less common leukaemias and aplastic anaemia. However the last chapter of this book deals with plasma cell neoplasms and the question has to be asked whether perhaps this is slightly incongruous? In a series of clear and concise reference handbooks does this not warrant its own book?

The information in this book is thorough. Each chapter outlines the disease process in detail under headings such as epidemiology, classification, pathology and treatment. Headings vary slightly from chapter to chapter but all topics use a bulleted format and incorporate tables and pathology slides for ease of information. This succinct format allows the entire discussion of leukaemia and related disorders to be covered comprehensively in nine chapters and 208 pages.

Diagnostic factors and treatment options for each subtype or stage within each category of leukaemia make this a very valuable reference tool. The author states that the treatment protocols he describes are current professional recommendations and acknowledges that different treatment centres may differ in their use of these protocols. This is emphasised by the use of such terms as ‘common practice’ or ‘in many studies’ or ‘the most commonly used induction regime’. Recommendations are based on current research and the reader is directed to these references at the end of each chapter.

Overall Dx/Rx: Leukemia appears to be a comprehensive and valuable reference for qualified physicians who want a quick and easy guide for current diagnostic factors and recommended treatments of all categories of leukaemia.

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