This text, originally published as Dameshek and Gunz's textbook
Leukemia (1958), is now edited by an international team
consisting of Dr. Henderson, Dr. Lister, and Dr. Greaves. This
continues to be an outstanding text in its field, covering virtually
all aspects of the acute and chronic leukemias.
Written for the most part for the practicing oncologist, the book
is well organized, with a well-placed emphasis on the scientific
and epidemiologic aspects of these diseases. The chapter on chemicals
and leukemia provides an exceptionally good review of this particular
As noted by Mel Greaves in his chapter, "The New Biology
of Leukemia," the degree of molecular diversity in these
diseases is just beginning to be understood. With this in mind,
it is somewhat disappointing to note, in this otherwise robust
text, some thin areas that deal with important molecular discoveries.
Specifically, the role of differentiation therapy with retinoids
in the treatment of acute promeylocytic leukemia and its relationship
to t(15;17) is given only a few paragraphs; this is indeed short
shrift for one of the most intriguing discoveries made in the
treatment of acute leukemia. A more comprehensive description
of t(9;22) also should be provided. Similarly, the role of interferon-alfa
in chronic myelegenous leukemia is only briefly reviewed, even
though this is perhaps one of the few advances that has been made
in this disease, albeit for only a proportion of patients.
Despite these few deficiencies, however, Leukemia remains
an excellent reference source on these malignancies.