Book Review: January 2004
Textbook of Melanoma
An impressive reference textbook consisting of 14 sections, 64 chapters and 687 pages. There are 94 contributors from around the world with a strong Australian contribution. This book has breadth and depth in its discussion of melanoma.
The sections of the book are History, Basic biology of the pigment cell system and causation of melanoma, Epidemiology, Prevention and screening, Histopathology and classification, Staging and prognosis, Diagnosis of primary cutaneous melanoma and initial investigations, Management of the primary cutaneous melanoma site, Management of regional lymph nodes, Special Situations, Locally and locoregionally recurrent melanoma, Metastatic melanoma at distant sites: Diagnosis and local management, Metastatic melanoma at distant sites: Systemic Therapy, Primary Melanoma in non cutaneous sites, Guidelines.
Each section is subdivided in to chapters relevant to the section title. Each chapter is a comprehensively referenced literature review. The references are listed at the end of each chapter and are therefore easily accessed. Through the book the extent of the literature review is wide quoting a paper from the 19th century (1806) in the first chapter to references up to 2002.
Many of the contributors have a surgical background and the book discusses surgical detail. The surgical detail however is balanced by equally detailed discussion in other specialist areas of melanoma including epidemiology, biology, immunology and medical oncology.
Although I would have liked to seen a greater contribution from dermatologists this is a sentinel book. It provides a robust analysis of the current concepts surrounding melanoma based on the literature and is an ideal reference text. It should be in the collection of all units with an interest in melanoma and will interest all specialist doctors whose practice encompases this disease.