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September 14, 1970

Cytotoxic Drugs in the Treatment of Cancer

Author Affiliations

Johns Hopkins University Baltimore

JAMA. 1970;213(11):1907. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170370091029

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This small, surprisingly informative volume deals with the alkylating agents, antimetabolites, plant products, antineoplastic antibodies, some miscellaneous compounds, and special techniques of administration. The general surveys of the alkylating agents and antimetabolites are especially well done. The chapters dealing with the clinical use of a half dozen most commonly used representative agents contain a great deal of usefully presented detailed experience. Although some attempt is made to present the results gleaned from the literature, much of the clinical material represents the authors' personal experience and is, therefore, of especial value. They are very careful not to make extravagant claims for the usefulness of the agents in common use today.

The shortcomings of the agents are clearly stated, and the complexity of the task of selecting one or two agents from the large number available, when the physician must treat a patient with a specific cancer, becomes apparent. This task is