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September 10, 1997

Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology

Author Affiliations

Kalispell, Mont

JAMA. 1997;278(10):871-872. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550100097049

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The encyclopedic tome popularly known among clinical cancer workers as "DeVita" has now reached a fifth edition just 14 years from its beginnings in 1982. This edition encompasses some 3125 pages plus a 92-page index. In its single-volume version, it weighs 11 pounds. A more comfortable two-volume version is available for a few dollars more.

This textbook on the scientific under-pinnings of oncology and clinical cancer management long ago put its competition in the shade. It is monumental in every sense: clear concise writing, superb photos and illustrations, excellent tables and graphs, comprehensive—if sometimes overwhelming—literature references, and an adequate index.

All that said, it is heavy going, perhaps primarily because of the dense and concentrated nature of the material. It is certainly not a text one would pick up and read for pleasure. It is chock-full of information, and references are current through the mid 1990s. The