Arthur Levine CANCER IN THE YOUNG New York: Masson Publishing, 1982, 767 pp., $85.00
This authoritative book of 767 pages is the first edition of Cancer in the Young. Fully, half of the book describes the basic biological processes of the cancer and basic principles of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and toxicity - areas which are applicable to cancer in general; the remainder of the book deals specifically with cancer related to the young.
The book is divided into seven sections. They are: 1) biological background; 2) evaluation of the host and the tumor; 3) conceptual basis of treatment; 4) principles of supportive care; 5) real and unreal events; 6) malignant disease; and 7) risk benefits. The seven sections are subdivided into 27 chapters. There is also a postscript by Dr. Levine where he editorializes (as is his right) on training programs in pediatric oncology.
This is a very well-written book dealing with the issues in depth and providing an up-to-date account in the various areas. Most of the chapters also provided extensive and pertinent references. This book, in its first issue, established itself as the authoritative book of pediatric oncology and the frontrunner in this area. It is a "must" for anyone dealing with pediatric cancers. Chapters that merit particular praise include the epidemiology of cancer in the young, the inter-relationships between cancer and immunodeficiency, the one on cell kinetics, biological markers, and the entire section on principles of support. In the area of specific disease, the section of acute lymphocytic leukemia and malignant lymphomas, osteosarcoma, Wilms' tumor and late effects are outstanding.
The one obvious deficiency is that a number of the photomicrographs, electromicrographs, x-rays and radionucleotide scans have not been reproduced at a high-quality level. In particular, the electromicrographs have been poorly reproduced and consequently lack subcellular detail.