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BOOK REVIEW: Leukemia

BOOK REVIEW: Leukemia

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 topic.

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.

 
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