Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
edited by Robert L. Souhami, Ian Tannock, Peter Hohenberger, and Jean-Claude Horiot, 2nd ed 2852 pp, $445, ISBN 0-19-262926-3, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Four major textbooks of oncology now exist in current editions; Abeloff, Clinical Oncology, and Holland, Cancer Medicine, both revised in 2000, DeVita, Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, revised in 2001, and now, 6 years following its initial appearance, the second edition of the Oxford Textbook of Oncology.
Under new editorship, the second edition is far more than an updated version of the first. The text has been extensively revised, most chapters having been entirely rewritten. The list of contributors, international in scope and about 40% based in the United Kingdom, has been trimmed substantially to 234 (down from 327 in the first edition). It may seem incongruous to mention literary style in reference to an oncology textbook, but the prose in the Oxford Textbook is exemplary. In chapter after chapter, well-phrased, declarative sentences abound, accompanied by judicious interpretations rather than simple recitation of data, so clear, consistent, and lucid as to make one wonder whether the War of Independence was such a good idea after all. This textbook is unique among its peers in giving the sense that the authors are addressing the reader personally.
OncologyOxford Textbook of Oncology. JAMA. 2002;287(24):3266-3267. doi:10.1001/jama.287.24.3266-JBK0626-3-1