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Chemokines and Cancer.
  1. G P Spickett

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    Rollins BJ, ed. ($125.00.) Humana Press, 1999. ISBN 0 896 03562 X.

    This multiauthor review has 16 chapters, broken down into sections on the physiology of chemokines, tumour infiltration by leucocytes, modulation of host response to cancer, chemokines and tumour growth and metastasis, associations with specific malignancies, and finally effects on stem cell proliferation. Authors are predominantly from US centres, with a scattering of Europeans.

    I have to admit to finding this mostly hard going and, after starting off with good intentions and struggling through half of the book, it was laid aside as more easily digestible and clinically useful things usurped my attention. Half the problem is the multiplicity of cytokines, mostly with incomprehensible names, which makes it necessary for the non-specialist to keep referring back to the first chapter to have any idea about the remaining chapters. This is a fast moving field, so it is difficult to say what the value of this publication is except as a way mark for the long journey of discovery in cancer research.

    There is little here for the working pathologist, but plenty for the chemokine and cancer immunology researcher. I doubt very much whether it will find a general market for interested non-specialists. Mainly one for the library!

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