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Books, Journals, New Media
August 10, 2005


Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2005;294(6):747-748. doi:10.1001/jama.294.6.747

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.