The Basic Science of Oncology (Third Edition)

John Han-Chih Chang, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

The Basic Science of Oncology (Third Edition) front cover Editors: Ian F. Tannock and Richard P. Hill
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, New York, 1998
ISBN: 0-07-105484-7
OncoLink Rating: 2 stars

Buy this book at and help support the OncoLink mission!

The Basic Science of Oncology is a compilation of information about the science of cancer reflecting the numerous aspects of this complex subject. Dr. Tannock and Dr. Hill state that this book was written to describe "basic aspects of the science underlying the treatment of cancer in a manner suited to both clinical and scientific trainees." The chapters were written by multiple contributing authors as well as the two editors, almost all of whom are from the University of Toronto. This edition covers the topics found in the first two editions, while updating our growing knowledge of topics such as molecular oncology, intracellular signaling, control of cell proliferation, immunology of cancer, advances in radiotherapy, and many more.

This textbook contains twenty chapters, with topics ranging from the epidemiology of cancer to the genetic basis of cancer. Many chapters are devoted to different therapies: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, gene therapy, passive and active immunotherapy, hyperthermia, and photodynamic therapy. It is interesting to note that while so many therapies are discussed, surgery is not mentioned.

The book is very well organized. Each chapter begins with a small outline of how that particular chapter is organized. This is very helpful, as one can easily find one's topic of interest. Each chapter ends with a list of references and a bibliography. The book ends with a glossary and an index.

This book provides an excellent overview of the multifaceted topic of cancer. It is not written for the layperson. It is up-to-date and easy to read, providing a very good basis of knowledge about cancer. It cannot possibly provide elaborate detail on every subject, but it provides references one can turn to for more in-depth coverage.