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Book and New Media Reviews
October 2004

Textbook of Melanoma

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(10):1296. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.10.1296-a

Jointly edited by an Australian, a European, and an American, the Textbook of Melanoma strives to be an international effort to compile core knowledge about this disease. Similar in ambition and scope to Balch et al's Cutaneous Melanoma, this is a comprehensive, multiauthor tome.

The question then becomes, how is the Textbook of Melanoma different from Cutaneous Melanoma? The answer: in small ways. A first edition rather than a fourth edition, the Textbook has the advantage of a fresh start but lacks the years of experience that preceded the recent version of the other book. A few of the illustrations in the Textbook are reproduced with permission from the third edition of Cutaneous Melanoma, and at least 2 of the senior editors of the more established book are contributors to the newer one, so it is obvious that the editors of the Textbook are aware of their debt. However, in some ways, the Textbook is more user-friendly than its competitor. There is greater use of color, the type is more readable, and the tone is less dogmatic in the newer book. In particular, there is a tendency in the Textbook to include tables summarizing recent studies and case series on specific topics; this even-handed approach lets the reader decide, provides a transparent look at the raw data, and permits the in-depth user to unearth even more data by retrieving the primary sources.

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