main, with a few from abstracts only (the limitations of using

                                                                         abstracts as a treatment resource are acknowledged). Selected
                                                                         reading references are also provided. In the introductory pages of
                                                                         this chapter the authors explain this section is a quick reference for
DS Fischer et al
                                                                         those who use combination chemotherapy, not a “cookbook” for
Published by Mosby (2003)                                                the inexperienced.
Distributed in Australia by Elsevier.                                    In addition there is a range of chapters on other topics related to
ISBN: 0-3230-1890-4. 519 pages plus index.                               cancer and its treatment. These start with standard chapters such
RRP: A$97.90                                                             as basic pharmacology including drug interactions, and
This is the 6th edition of a chemotherapy handbook that                  administration of chemotherapy including dosing, administration
started life in 1979 as an in-house handbook for fellows and             methods and devices, complications of administration, and
nurses at Yale New Haven Hospital, USA.                                  occupational exposure issues. Further chapters cover assessing
                                                                         and managing organ toxicity, managing cancer pain, and high
Although designed for oncology professionals in the US, the use          dose chemotherapy with stem cell support. The very topical area
of generic drug names throughout, as well as American                    of medication safety with chemotherapy is covered for the first
tradenames, makes it suitable for Australian users. This compact         time in this edition of the handbook. Other interesting chapters
handbook is truly pocket-sized; yet it is packed with information        include principles and applications of clinical trials, and ethical
not always included in this type of book. Traditional drug               considerations in cancer patients.
monographs, listed in alphabetical order, fill about half its pages
and include cytotoxic and associated drugs that are commercially         I am often asked what textbooks I recommend, and find it difficult
available in the US as well as many investigational agents.              to answer, as they can become dated quite quickly. However, I
Individual monographs are not referenced, but many have one or           think oncology nurses, pharmacists and medical trainees would
more references listed under selected reading at the end of the          find this small, relatively inexpensive handbook a useful
                                                                         information resource. In this era of portable computer technology
monograph. There is a similar section on biotherapies which has
                                                                         it would be great if it were available in a downloadable form to a
a short overview of this topic followed by alphabetical listing of the
                                                                         personal digital assistant such as a Palm or Pocket PC.
individual products. A comprehensive chapter on cancer
chemotherapy and biotherapy lists in alphabetical order the              J Lees
different cancer types. For each type there is a paragraph about         Dept of Oncology/Haematology
the disease state and a number of protocols that have been used          Royal Adelaide Hospital
for treatment. These are from published research articles in the         Adelaide, SA


Cancer Forum    I   Volume 27 Number 3   I   November 2003

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