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April 1977

Biology of Cancer

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(4):539. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630160095020

The Biology of Cancer, by Ambrose and Roe, is a collection of 13 chapters by 13 different scientists, mostly from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. An attempt to cover this broad, rapidly expanding field of research would seem futile, since you would expect a volume to be outdated the moment it was published. This book is a laudable survey of what has been done in the past and is still of current interest. The conclusion from chapter 6 is true today and was true ten years ago: "Progress... is impeded by the inadequacy of present knowledge concerning the regulation of gene expression in normal developing and adult tissues."

This book is valuable because it is concise and well referenced, and summarizes the important areas of research. The chapter on metastases, for example, includes paragraphs on host immunity and anticoagulation that are of current interest, and provides 167 references.

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