July 15, 1968

Chemotherapy of Cancer: The Antimetabolite Approach

Author Affiliations

Toledo, Ohio


by G. M. Timmis and D. C. Williams (Cancer Monograph Series, Ronald W. Raven, [ed.]), 229 pp, 149 illus, 85s, $15.50, London: Butterworths (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc.), 1968.

JAMA. 1968;205(3):190-191. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140290082038

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This book, one of four in a "Cancer Monograph Series" by British authors, summarizes data accumulated about the antimetabolites since their introduction by Farber in 1948. Dr. Timmis writes as a pioneer in cancer chemotherapy whose contributions include busulfan (Myleran), a chemical widely used in the treatment of chronic leukemia.

One of the most challenging problems in chemotherapy has been the inevitable induction of resistance to antimetabolites with continued therapy. Presumably, alternate metabolic pathways develop which bypass the inhibitory effects of the drug. The search for methods to overcome resistance therefore requires understanding of the precise chemical action of these drugs and a knowledge of normal and possible alternate metabolic pathways.

With this background, Chemotherapy of Cancer approaches its subject. The monograph is organized into six chapters each dealing with a major chemical group of antimetabolites. Chapters begin with an extensive, well-illustrated summary of the chemistry and pharmacology of the