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Gastrointestinal Oncology: Evidence and Analysis

2007 Edition, June 6, 2007

Complete Document



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Active, Most Current

EN
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ISBN: 978-0-8493-9865-0
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 2007 Edition, June 6, 2007
  • Published Date: June 6, 2007
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 402
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

Preface

If you are reading this preface you are unusual. Most readers do not read prefaces. If you are reading it purposefully, you probably want to know why you should buy or read this book, what it contains, or why it has been put together in the way it has. So we will try to answer those questions.

This book is designed as a medium-sized reference providing up-to-date, evidence-based information on the management of the major problems in gastrointestinal oncology, both surgical and medical. It gives in-depth coverage of important current issues and controversies and clarifies the nature and quality of the evidence. It does not provide information on exotic rarities or superspecialist debates. It is designed for a busy clinician who needs practical support in dealing with the problems of oncological practice. It has a deliberately international authorship so that readers can appreciate both the commonalities in the approach to cancer treatment throughout the world as well as some of the interesting debates and differences.

It is to be hoped that it is no longer necessary to justify taking an evidence-based approach. In the decade since the evidence-based movement became internationally popular, there has been an enormous improvement in the general quality of the reporting of clinical research, largely stimulated by the pressure from clinical epidemiologists, who have pointed out the flaws and pitfalls of traditional reporting and study methods. We all now recognize that it is vital to evaluate the quality of the evidence on which our clinical practice and beliefs are based and to retain a healthy degree of doubt where the lack of good objective evidence calls for it. We asked our contributors to answer specific questions current in their field and to grade the supporting evidence for their answers according to an internationally accepted classification. We hope this will allow the reader to gain a much clearer perception of the scope of current knowledge than may be gained from reading the declarative statements in traditional textbooks, many of which would fail to stand up the scrutiny of an evidence-based examination. A pure summary of the evidence, without any significant expert commentary would, however, be unhelpful, as well as extremely dull. One of the things we are now quite clear about is the extent to which our knowledge of the efficacy of treatment is imperfect and incomplete. A simple account of the evidence would therefore leave many holes, gaps, and questions, unplugged and unanswered. Both the senior trainee and the practicing clinician need guidance in situations where the evidence is not sufficiently strong to provide an immediate answer, and help in interpreting the finer points of controversies and debate where the evidence is conflicting. We have therefore asked experts in each field to provide an account that mixes their own experience and broad understanding of the subject with a rigorous analysis of the available clinical trials.

We hope this book will appeal to a wide audience. We think it should be useful to senior trainees in gastrointestinal surgery, surgical oncology, clinical oncology, and gastroenterology. We have principally aimed it at practicing clinicians, who need an authoritative update on topics within their practice, but lack the time or resources to conduct an exhaustive review of the evidence themselves. We hope that patients and their relatives with a desire to understand the detailed arguments and evidence behind proposed treatments will also gain from reading the relevant chapters.

The controversies and hot topics discussed in the book include the surgical approaches to multiple liver metastases and hepatoma, to esophageal, gastric, and rectal cancers, as well as the oncological evidence on adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy for these tumors and for the pancreas. We also have excellent advice on the management of malignant and premalignant disease in Barrett's esophagus and a comprehensive monograph on the management of carcinoid tumors of the GI tract. We have been fortunate in that this elite group of contributors have agreed to help us with this volume. While we emphasize the importance of the objective evidence, many readers will be particularly interested to also read the opinions of internationally recognized authorities such as Glyn Jamieson, Yuman Fong, Masatoshi Makuuchi and Hubert Stein on the surgical side, and Michel Ducreux, Joel Tepper, Eric Van Cutsem and Carol Portlock among oncologists. We express our sincere thanks to all our chapter authors for their hard work and for cooperating with us in working in an unfamiliar format.

We hope you do find this book useful and are very happy to receive feedback on how it can be improved.