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Book and Media Reviews
March 17, 2010

Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology

JAMA. 2010;303(11):1097. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.288

This is the fourth edition of a recognized comprehensive oncology reference work. The contributors are from many cancer centers, without special focus on any one center. Most contributors are from the United States, but some are from Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The founding editor, Martin Abeloff, died in 2007, and this edition is dedicated to him. A stated goal is a “better, unique, and user friendly text.”

The organization of the text has evolved from earlier editions. Part 1, “Science of Clinical Oncology,” explores genetics, laboratory medicine, prevention, statistical analysis, economics, and the structure and design of clinical trials. Also included are basics of radiation therapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, gene therapy, and immunotherapy. A molecular biology approach is used to explain the differences between normal and malignant cells. Prevention of known environmental triggers—particularly bacterial, viral (now comprising 15% of all cancer causes), chemical, and radiational—is explored.