Few specialties in medicine are experiencing the rapid advancement in both laboratory and clinical science that is occurring in clinical oncology. The genetic mechanisms underlying cancer and their downstream effects are quickly becoming understood. This improved understanding of the molecular pathways in specific cancers is being translated into improved therapy. The development of antibodies and small molecules aimed at specific molecular targets that are key in the neoplastic process provide the promise of less toxic and more effective therapeutic options. Cancer prevention as a clinical science is making advances both in eliminating known carcinogens (e.g., tobacco) and in the development of drugs that inhibit carcinogenesis. The accumulative effect of these advances is, for the first time, sustained reduction in the age-adjusted death rate from cancer in the United States.
The fourth edition of Abeloff's Clinical Oncology incorporates these exciting changes. Each chapter begins with a summary highlighting the key points that would, for example, allow one to pass a board exam. In addition to a critical analysis of the literature, authors present their own opinions in specially identified boxes and algorithms. The use of color throughout the text makes the material more easily understood.
Our goal is to provide a textbook that is the most useful, understandable, attractive, and thorough in presenting the principles of clinical oncology. It is meant to be equally useful to students and trainees, experts in the various disciplines of oncology, and as a reference text for physicians from other disciplines who also see patients with cancer. It is our hope that readers will find this scholarly textbook properly balanced between the disciplines of science, clinical medicine, and humanism and that it will serve them well in their efforts to prevent, diagnose, and effectively treat their patients suffering from cancer.
The multidisciplinary nature of cancer care is, and will continue to be, reflected in our editors. Specialists in pediatric oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, and hematologic malignancies direct the development of the book. Reflecting the interdisciplinary care necessary for optimal care of patients, many chapters are the joint product of several of these disciplines. The editors are deeply indebted to our outstanding authors who, in a most diligent and thoughtful way, have brought their knowledge and skills to the fourth edition of Abeloff's Clinical Oncology.