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May 18, 1984

Clinical Chemotherapy, vol 1: Fundamentals

Author Affiliations

National Hansen's Disease Center Carville, La

JAMA. 1984;251(19):2586. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340430078042

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Apparently this is the first of a series of three volumes dealing with chemotherapy. While subsequent volumes will deal with antimicrobial chemotherapy and antineoplastic chemotherapy, volume 1 is intended to include "all the scientific fundamentals that are necessary for clinical chemotherapy." Emphasis on the fundamentals suggests that this volume was designed primarily to cover microbiology and pharmacology with subsequent volumes presumably emphasizing infectious diseases and oncology.

The volume suffers considerably from the common problems with multiauthored texts—differences in writing styles, overlaps, contradictions, and omissions. A number of the 22 chapters are succinct, useful reviews. Chapter 2, for example, is an excellent instructional review of the structure and physiology of bacteria. Much of the same information, however, is repeated in a well-written and useful review of the mechanisms of action of antimicrobial drugs in chapter 5. Chapters 7 and 8, dealing with bacterial resistance, are entirely different in thrust, consisting of