Toxicology

Toxicology

John D. Rodwell, Pages: 248, Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York, 1989, Price: US$119.50. ISBN: 0-8247-8107-4. Since the introduction of antibodies as a biol...

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John D. Rodwell, Pages: 248, Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York, 1989, Price: US$119.50. ISBN: 0-8247-8107-4. Since the introduction of antibodies as a biological and technical tool the selectivity and stability of the antigen-antibody bond has been utilized for many purposes. Thus it is no surprise that the almost ideal properties of antibodies are also used for a Targeted Diagnosis and Therapy which, also not by surprise, is the name of a series of monographs. After having treated antibody-mediated delivery systems and targeted therapeutic systems in other volumes the current monograph deals in eleven different chapters by 44 contributors with mainly cancer treatment by immunological approaches. The contributions have emanated from a respective symposium held in Lyon, France, in June 1987. The eleven chapters concentrate on different aspects after an introductory chapter on monoclonal antibodies, tumor vaccines and anti-idiotypes. The biochemical engineering of immunotoxins and the use of immunoconjugates for cancer treatment are followed by preclinical studies with such conjugates; site-specifically modified monoclonal antibodies are used for visualizing their locations; the chapter on killing of human tumor cells by antibody conjugates and complement leads to the preparation of bone marrow for autologous bone marrow transplantation, while other chapters deal with diagnostic procedures such as immunoreactions on insoluble supports, enzyme immunometric assays and the utilization of metal particles in combination with antigens and antibodies in diagnostic assays and finally the detection of circulating antigens by use of immobilized cell surface receptors. The book is a very interesting reading matter for everyone interested in modern approaches to therapy and diagnostics and demonstrates the wide variety of possible approaches. For the reader, the book is useful in two ways: it informs about the detailed work of a number of laboratories along these lines and on the other hand between the lines demonstrates the enormous potential and variety of immunological methods. The book is conventionally printed, carries illustrations of sufficient quality and an index. Its relatively high price, however, implies that it is directed as a medium of exchange to those involved in the field rather than seeking to inform and educate for instance a student population, for which it indeed would be very specialized.

K.J. Netter

Toxicology. Edited by: Thomas J. Haley and William O. Berndt, Pages: 708, Price: L 28.50, Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, Washington 1987. ISBN: 0-89116-810-9. With the emancipation of toxicology from the maternal discipline of pharmacology, there is a need for respective textbooks and thus it is understandable that various groups of authors endeavour to present respective textbooks. Such a laudible effort has lead the 21 authors of this book together to

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produce 16 uniformly written chapters for students of toxicology. After a very attractive history of poisonings, the reader learns the basic principles of xenobiotic metabolism and the biology of cholinesterase inhibitors. Preceded by a chapter on hepatotoxicity and carcinogenesis there is extensive and systematic information on pulmonary toxicology and its methodology which in turn is followed by renal toxicology including a didactically useful short "recapitulation". The chapter of reproductive and developmental toxicology is particularly extensive and rich in information also for the expert in the field. After treating antineoplastic drugs and the toxicity of environmental agents such as insecticides, herbicides, etc. there is a very thoughtful treatment of the basic phenomena mediating metal toxicity. A taste of the difficulties to apply toxicological knowledge to practical and political issues is given in the chapter on food additives which discusses regulatory procedures and tries to explain the benefit/risk dilemma without naturally being able to solve it; the currently used way out of the dilemma such as the application of the ADI concept should have been mentioned. Animal toxins, asphyxiant gases as well as solvents and chemical intermediates form three further chapters with the respective information. These are followed by a return to another organ system, namely the immune system, that explains the toxic actions on this vital function. The book is terminated by a 58 page chapter on clinical toxicology which mainly lists alphabetically poisonings, their symptoms and possible treatment. On the whole the book is diffusing a great amount of knowledge and leads the reader into the original literature by means of very comprehensive reference lists at the end of each chapter; this will make the book rather more appealing to the expert than to a student adept to toxicology. The text is rather uniformly written so that the reader's eye (and memory) will not be caught by individually designed and illustrated pages and thus requires more intellectual effort than customary in the age of visual information transfer. The description of the anatomy and physiology of important organs (but not of the biochemistry) eases the access to the understanding of toxic actions for the non-biologically trained reader. There is an index of 42 pages. The reviewer is convinced that the book will become a respected member of the family of existing toxicology textbooks and will live through many subsequent new editions. K.J. Netter

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