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Book Reviews
While the ®rst edition of this book (1993) had
signi®cant gaps in coverage, this second revised and
extended edition can certainly be recommended as an
optional brief modern text for undergraduate medical
students and others. For detailed coverage it cannot
compete directly with the larger texts like Underwood's
General and Systematic Pathology (2nd edn, 1996) or
Kumar's Basic Pathology (6th edn, 1997). However, the
authors do succeed rather well in their aim `to create a
tutorial on the mechanisms of disease over a background of history, science and clinical relevance'. As
such, it should also command a readership outside the
mainstream medical undergraduate production line.
Nurses, podiatrists, other paramedics and biomedical
scientists would also ®nd it useful in their undergraduate studies and training. Postgraduate scientists
and biochemists working in hospital and medical
school laboratories often arrive with no formal training in and little knowledge of disease processes. As a
supplement to inservice training for such staff, reference copies of this easily assimilated book should be
available on the bookshelf of every biomedical research
and diagnostic laboratory.
Textbook of Uncommon Cancer (2nd edn).
in style and emphasis is apparent between different
contributors, though the editors admit that they have
not tried to disguise this.
References are cited up to 1998 in many chapters,
though there are one or two glaring instances of outof-date concepts. An example is malignant ®brous
histiocytoma, which is referred to as `the most
common soft tissue sarcoma' in one chapter and
`amongst the most common' in another. Similarly, the
references cited with regard to our `current' understanding of the nature of angiomyolipoma range from
1932 to 1959! The chapter entitled `Lymphomas at
uncommon sites' consists of little more than a list of
sites which may be affected, supplemented with
explanatory text on selected examples and some siterelated features of interest. Lymphoma classi®cation
is not referred to directly, though most examples
are quoted using Kiel terminology. Bizarrely, the
subsection on `Lymphoma following organ transplantation' makes no mention of post-transplant
lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), such cases
being referred to simply as `lymphoma'. However,
PTLD is mentioned under `cancers of the small bowel'
and REAL lymphoma nomenclature is used in some
sections. The chapter on large cell neuroendocrine
tumours of lung is an enlightening up-to-date account
of the limitations of our knowledge on the subject and
points the direction for further research. It is useful to
read more about primary peritoneal carcinoma, an
entity which we seem to encounter not infrequently.
I might well consult this book in order to gain
further insight into some of the clinical and therapeutic
aspects of the tumours featured, but it would be
unlikely to be amongst the ®rst ports of call for
resolution of the diagnostically challenging case.
D. Raghavan, M. L. Brecher, D. H. Johnson, N. J. Meropol,
P. L. Moots and J. T. Thigpen (eds). John Wiley,
Chichester, 1999. No. of pages: 757. Price: £195.00.
ISBN: 0 471 92921 2
This textbook is aimed primarily at clinicians who
manage cancer patients and, as stated in the preface,
`the student of cancer'. It is necessarily selective in the
tumours covered, nevertheless drawing on the experience of no less than 90 contributors from around the
world. It must have been a considerable task for the
editorial team, itself distributed between the UK, USA,
and Australia, to co-ordinate this effort. Most of the
authors are clinicians with an oncological interest, or
oncologists, with a sprinkling of input from histopathologists in some chapters, including some wellknown names.
This is not a book for resolving dif®cult histopathological differential diagnoses and the range of entities
covered, even amongst `uncommon cancers', is not
exhaustive. Nevertheless, it does view a variety of
uncommon tumours from a wide perspective, including
epidemiology, aetiology, clinical features, and radiological ®ndings. In most chapters, there is also a fairly
detailed account of management, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens. Attention is drawn
to the limits of present knowledge, where appropriate.
Selected benign neoplasms are included, when there are
clinical or other grounds for confusing them with
malignant tumours, which seems entirely reasonable.
With some exceptions, the histopathology sections tend
to be `pathology aimed at clinicians' rather than
`pathology for practising histopathologists'. Indeed, a
few of the chapters which feature only clinical authors
give the impression that not all of the pathology was
written by pathologists. Having said this, there are
some well-balanced accounts. A considerable variation
Copyright # 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
J. Kirk
The Queen's University of Belfast
J. H. Shanks
Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester
J Pathol 2000; 190: 518±520.
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