Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
Since its initial publication in 1982, Cancer: Principles
andPractice of Oncology, edited by DeVita,
Hellman, and Rosenberg, has been a staple reference text in the medical oncologist’s
library. With each edition, the numbers of topics and contributors have increased,
and this, the seventh edition, is the most inclusive.
The text is divided into four parts. Part 1, “Molecular Biology
of Cancer,” begins with a review of some contemporary techniques used
in research and diagnosis, including polymerase chain reaction, microarray
technology, and cytogenetics. An important section discusses the growing discipline
of bioinformatics: the application of information technology to facilitate
the representation, distribution, and integration of medical data. The second
half of part 1 moves to “Molecular Targets in Oncology,” which
introduces a relevant discussion of signal transduction, followed by regulation
of the cell cycle and apoptosis. Invasion and metastasis are hallmarks of
malignancy, complicated events involving cell adhesion and migration. Moreover,
evasion of the immune system and recruitment of supportive vasculature are
key to the tumor’s survival, and this section offers insights into these
mechanisms. The text appropriately addresses these topics, since the focus
of treatment is clearly progressing toward targeted therapies.
Hughes R. Cancer. JAMA. 2005;294(6):747-748. doi:10.1001/jama.294.6.747