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O’Leary T, ed. (£105.00.) Saunders, 2002. ISBN 0 7216 4976 9.
This is a tour de force of a book, with 18 contributors. I know from experience that it is difficult for an editor to maintain uniformity under these circumstances, but Professor O’Leary has done very well here. This is an all Northern American publication, so some of the contributors’ names may not be known to us all. Nonetheless, this should not detract from a well assembled and attractively produced volume.
What makes this book especially appealing is that it combines theory, application, and methodology very well. Thus, we are presented with chapters on—for example, oncogenes and antigens—and then a series of contributions regarding the practical bases of immunocytochemical and molecular methodologies. We are taken on a trip through the systems of the body, with practical and theoretical considerations on each. These are presented in good detail and with extensive references, most of which are quite up to date.
It is interesting to note that, in cancer pathology, we are increasingly looking at prognostic markers in addition to markers of cell type and lineage.
Finally, there are two “recipe” sections which, although not comprehensive, will be of considerable use to any laboratory using routine or research immunocytochemistry or setting up a molecular facility. The protocols are based on those used at the AFIP.
My only criticism are that it would have been useful to have a series of tables giving localisations of phenotypic markers, including the CD series, in relation to cell/tissue types, as well as presenting the information on a systemic basis. Second, it is a pity that the colour plates are clustered at the beginning of the book rather than placed appropriately in the text. I am always being told by publishers that this is a cost consideration but, in the age of electronic publishing, find this hard to believe!
This book is reasonably priced and will, I believe, sell both to institutions and to individuals.
One mystery … why is the image of the book on its advertising “flyer” different to that in reality?