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Jacobs IJ, Shepherd JH, Oram DH, et al, eds. (£125.00.) Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0 19850826 3.
Ovarian Cancer is a combination of two separate but complementary initiatives. One initiative was a series of reviews commissioned to cover the spectrum of clinical management of ovarian cancer from prevention, screening, and diagnosis to surgery, chemotherapy, and palliative care. The second initiative has been coordinated by the Helene Harris Memorial Trust (HHMT), which organises key biennial meetings in ovarian cancer. Attendance at these meetings is by invitation to a small group of international authorities. Participants at the most recent HHMT meeting in Stockholm were asked to prepare a chapter based on their contribution. This mixture of review chapters and chapters detailing recent advances in clinical aspects and basic science research developments has created a unique book.
One of us (MS) is presently undertaking an MD investigating molecular aspects of ovarian cancer and found many chapters in the book immensely useful for background reading. The second of us (WGM), as a practising gynaecological pathologist, especially found the “non-pathological” chapters interesting. These are very useful for background reading before multidisciplinary gynaecological oncology meetings and before the teaching of pathology and gynaecological trainees. The book gives an in depth view of all aspects related to ovarian cancer, something of great importance with the ever increasing emphasis on multidisciplinary care and teamwork.
The book comprises eight parts ranging from the aetiology of ovarian cancer through to the natural history and pathology, tumour biology, prevention and screening, diagnostic techniques and prognostic factors, surgical treatment and organisation of care, adjuvant and palliative treatment, and novel treatments for the future. Within each of these parts there are multiple chapters, resulting in 55 chapters in total. This results in an extremely comprehensive review of a rapidly developing field.
Purely pathological chapters included are “The pathology of epithelial ovarian cancer”, “The pathology of borderline ovarian malignancy”, “Primary non-epithelial ovarian cancers”, and “Metastases in the ovary”. The pathology chapters, although of necessity brief, are concise and surprisingly detailed, and we especially enjoyed the chapter on “Pathology of borderline ovarian malignancy”. On a slight downside, but something that does not detract from the overall quality of the book, all the histological photomicrographs are black and white, there are no gross photographs, and in the chapter on “Primary non-epithelial ovarian cancers” there are no photomicrographs. However, this is not meant to be a detailed pathology textbook and, as already stated, these factors do not detract from the overall quality of the book.
The authors state that this publication is aimed at clinicians and researchers in the field of ovarian cancer. As far as pathologists are concerned, most with a major interest in gynaecological pathology will find this book useful, especially for background reading. We feel that this book will also be of particular benefit to pathology trainees preparing for MRCPath examinations and to those undertaking research into aspects of ovarian cancer. This book would be a useful addition to the library of any pathology laboratory.