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S Eissa. (£95.00.) Chapman and Hall, 1999. ISBN 0 412 81720 9.J Clin Pathol 2000;53:886
Tumour markers are surrogate indicators of the presence of malignancy. They are good indicators of the behaviour of malignant neoplasms. The present book covers in depth the various markers expressed by different tumours, describes the different techniques used for their detection, and stresses their clinical usefulness in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The book is logically divided into 10 parts. Part one deals with the technical aspects of investigations of tumour markers including immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, and a variety of molecular biology methods. Part two analyses the tissue antigens that are used as markers for diagnosis and it is subdivided into non-haematological markers, haematological markers, and markers for undifferentiated tumours or metastases of unknown origin. In part three the authors make a good analysis of flow cytometric and single cell cytometry markers. The prediction of tumour response to treatment is analysed in part four and is divided into steroid hormone receptors, drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy, and multidrug resistance in human cancer. Part five analyses in an exemplary manner those markers indicative for tumour proliferation and apoptosis, whereas part six studies markers of invasion and metastasis. The genetic makeup of malignancies is analysed in part seven, which is subdivided into five parts: (a) general genomic markers, (b) specific genetic markers, (c) tumour suppressor genes, (d) oncogene and oncosuppressor gene expression and prognosis, and (e) molecular phenotyping of lymphoid malignancies. In part eight the authors analyse markers for the early detection of cancers, whereas part nine deals with markers for cancer imaging and treatment including radioimmunodetection and radioimmunotherapy. Part 10 deals specifically with tumour markers in selected organ systems covering all the 24 principal organs.
The book is very well written, logically presented, and with excellent illustrations. The technology is not only dealt with in the early chapters but, in each of them, they emphasise many of the technical aspects. My only very minor criticism would be that all the tumours derived from the diffuse neuroendocrine system are discussed in each individual organ rather than as separate entities. I would recommend all clinicians, researchers, diagnosticians, and cell biologists interested in oncology to purchase this book.