We produced the first edition of this handbook in 2008 and were gratified by its reception. Accordingly, we have undertaken a thorough revision and updating for 2013 and are happy that such extensive revision was necessary given the remarkable progress in cancer treatment over the last 5 years. We have again enlisted help from our colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Center and from other outstanding physicians around the country. Our goal was to provide in a hand-held source (either book or electronic) a source of information useful in the management of patients. The front sections deal with classes of agents used to treat cancer and review their pharmacology and mechanisms of action. A section is dedicated to symptom management including pain, nausea and vomiting, anemia, febrile neutropenia, metabolic emergencies, venous thrombosis, psychological issues in cancer patients, and end-of-life care. The remaining sections are dedicated to particular tumor types. Each chapter provides what is known about pathogenesis, incidence, prognostic factors, staging, and management.
The pace of discovery outstrips the pace of writing and producing a textbook; therefore, you will find that some of the information in this book will have been superseded by very recent research results. Thus, we encourage readers to supplement what they learn here with information from peer-reviewed publications in the medical literature.
As a companion to Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, we expect this volume to provide more detailed and expanded coverage suitable for use in managing patients with cancer. It is envisioned as a tool for physicians in practice and in various levels of training both within the subspecialty of medical oncology and for internal medicine in general.
We are grateful to the many contributors whose undercompensated but greatly appreciated labor produced this text. Laura Collins helped us keep track of the process of inviting authors, maintaining deadlines, tracking and editing manuscripts, and boosting us through to the finish. Kim Davis and James Shanahan at McGraw-Hill provided essential help getting the book edited and published. Our families were generous in letting us spend too much of our "free" time on this labor of love. Finally, we are grateful for the lessons in medicine and life that our mentors, patients, and students have taught us and for the privilege of working together to pass some of those lessons onto others.
Bruce A. Chabner, MD
Dan L. Longo, MD