Interactive Nutrition and Lifestyle: Opportunities for Cancer Prevention Edited by Riboli E and Lambert R Oxford University Press, 2002 £27·50 (US$44, € 39 ), pp 562 ISBN 92 832 2156 7
Elucidating the role of diet in the development of cancer has been a high priority of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) for the past 25 years. The organisation’s efforts have led to the largest epidemiological cohort study to date—the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The study is truly “epic” in size, with study sites in 10 countries and over 500 000 participants. In June 2001, the European Conference on Nutrition and Cancer provided a forum for discussing current data on the association between diet and lifestyle factors and cancer and preliminary findings from the EPIC study. Nutrition and Lifestyle: Opportunities for Cancer Prevention summarises the proceedings of this important meeting. Papers presented at the conference are introduced with one or more short review articles penned by experts in the field, providing the reader with concise summaries of the current state of knowledge. The range of topics covered is impressive; studies cover the link between cancer and specific foods and nutrients, alcohol, tobacco, body weight, physical
Text Atlas of Lymphomas: Revised Edition Armitage JO, Cavalli F, Zucca E, and Longo DL Martin Dunitz, 2002 £52·50 (US$84, €74), pp 216 ISBN 1841841803
The publication of the REAL classification in 1994 and the WHO classification of haematological malignant diseases in 2001 are major developments in haematological oncology. The success of these classifications lies in the close integration of the pathology of lymphomas with clinical behaviour. The WHO classification is far from perfect, but it is a strong foundation on which to build a more complete understanding of the pathogenesis of these cancers. This knowledge will be key to the development of effective biological therapies and it is an exciting and challenging time for all involved. However, the apparent complexity of these classifications can make haematological oncology a daunting prospect for those approaching the subject for the first time. The group of distinguished oncologists who wrote this book aimed to provide a guide to the REAL and WHO classification of lymphomas. They regard the understanding of these classifications as a core skill for all those involved in haematological oncology. Most chapters in this concise and attractive book focus on one of the major
activity, and endogenous hormone levels. Extensive sections detail laboratory studies of mechanisms relating to diet and cancer, and interactions between nutrients and genetic factors. The editors conclude with sections of results from recent clinical trials and discussions of prevention strategies. The study summaries are clearly written, concise, and liberally peppered with explanatory figures and tables. Many present data on relations that have remained ambiguous after decades of study, such as that between fat intake and breast cancer. Other papers explore the effects of relatively new candidates in cancer prevention research, such as phytoestrogens, conjugated linoleic acid, novel plant-derived anticarcinogens, and even bracken ferns. Most are studies of European populations, although several from the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Brazil are also included. Nutrition and Lifestyle: Opportunities for Cancer Prevention is not a systematic review of the relations between all nutrients, lifestyle factors, and cancer, and so is not an ideal source for anyone beginning research in these areas. It is, however, a very readable, interesting, and informative overview of current research concerning these modifiable risk factors for cancer. Researchers in the fields of nutrition, epidemiology, and cancer control will find the preliminary findings from the EPIC study intriguing, given the contributions it could make to cancer prevention research in the next decades. Thus, this book is worthy of a spot on the bookshelf. Elizabeth R Bertone-Johnson
diagnostic groups, and systematically consider diagnosis, clinical characteristics, and treatment. However, the pages of colour photomicrographs accompanying each chapter are mostly low-power views of lymph nodes. Even to the experienced observer, they all look similar and are of questionable educational value. Authors of a short text of this type are faced with a difficult decision: how to strike a balance between complexity and oversimplification. Unfortunately, many aspects of this book lean too heavily towards simplification at the expense of clarity. For example, diagnostic sections present information about morphology, immunophenotyping and genetic abnormalities without giving a clear perspective about what are the essential defining characteristics and why these characteristics are important in defining lymphomas. This approach obscures the major practical difficulties that can arise in diagnosis and management of patients with lymphoma. Each chapter is followed by a bibliography, but the text is not referenced. This makes it difficult for the reader to follow-up points of interest and to judge the extent to which many of the statements made are securely grounded in the published literature. Trainees in haematology and oncology may find this book valuable as a primer to acquire the basic vocabulary of the subject. However, they will need to look elsewhere in order to gain an understanding of the basis of current lymphoma classifications and, more importantly, their strengths and limitations. Andrew Jack
THE LANCET Oncology Vol 4 September 2003 http://oncology.thelancet.com
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