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Book and Media Reviews
June 6, 2007

Principles and Practice of Palliative Care and Supportive Oncology

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2007;297(21):2413-2416. doi:10.1001/jama.297.21.2414

I like textbooks. I believe that if they are done well, they play an important role in advancing a field and translating advances into clinical practice, which is often underestimated. They can serve as a foundation stone and a launching pad.—Vincent T. De Vita, Jr, MD

The comment by Dr De Vita is certainly applicable to the comprehensive, inclusive, and well-written third edition of Principles and Practice of Palliative Care and Supportive Oncology. It is an impressive work encompassing a well done (and rarely attempted) integration of core knowledge in palliative care and supportive oncology. One hundred forty authors, experts in their field, and many new figures contributed to this current edition. The textbook addresses the major issues in palliative care and oncology but also extends its content to special populations (pediatric, geriatric, human immunodeficiency virus, and intensive care). It includes 923 pages, 6 sections, 79 chapters, and an incalculable number of valuable and updated references. Although the authors kept essentially the same infrastructure as in the previous editions, a number of new chapters have been added (eg, chapter 10, Hot Flashes; chapter 29, Management of Advanced Hepatic Disease) or have been substantially modified (eg, the entire pain section [7 chapters] and the section on psychiatric symptoms and syndromes [mainly chapter 39]).