Color Atlas of Cancer Cytology 3rd ed, by Masayoshi Takahashi, 497 pp, with illus, Tokyo, Japan, Igaku-Shoin, 2000.
Previous editions of Takahashi's Color Atlas of Cancer Cytology have been regarded as being among the finest cytopathology textbooks. This third edition definitively continues the tradition. Although the title of the book indicates that this is an atlas, I hope it will not deceive you. In reality, it is a comprehensive textbook lavishly illustrated with numerous images of superb quality. These abundant illustrations are the major strength of the book. Particularly commendable is the fact that most of the photomicrographs were taken by the author. The great majority of the images are reproduced in color. The author also should be applauded for including extensive cytohistologic correlation and numerous color gross photographs. This gives the reader an excellent opportunity to better understand cytologic findings. In addition, there are numerous images illustrating results of adjunctive studies; particularly stunning are images of fluorescence in situ hybridization and electron and scanning microscopy. It is already a tradition for this book not only to include the "pure" cytology but also to present new technologies that are applied in this field. For example, in the first edition in 1971, the author included a chapter on fluorescence microscopy, and in the second edition in 1981, there was a chapter on fluorescence technique for the staining of Y-bodies in cancer of males. The newest edition reflects extraordinary developments in pathology over the last 20 years. New chapters dealing with immunohisto-- chemistry, DNA quantitation and cell cycle analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization, prognostic markers in lymphoma, and telepathology are particularly welcomed. There are many cytopathology textbooks covering morphology, but not many of them present new developments in the cytopathology field. Therefore, this textbook is specially appreciated. Also, the publisher, Igaku-Shoin, Ltd, should be applauded for the excellent general appearance of the book; in particular, its paper and the cover are of superb quality.
The book is organized into 22 chapters, 6 of them dealing with general cancer cytology and the remaining 16 covering most of the organs. Most of the chapters start with a short description of specimen collection and preparation, followed, when appropriate, with anatomy and histology, description of benign cellular components, and, finally, a review of neoplastic changes. Almost all parts of the human body have been covered, even organs not commonly seen in cytology anymore, such as the prostate. With such a comprehensive review, it seems surprising that adrenal glands and kidneys, especially aspiration of these organs, have not been discussed. Another minor blemish is the fact that the individual chapters have not been evenly written. The content in some of them appears to be quite superficial, whereas others are very detailed. This probably represents the author's special interest for particular types of specimen. One additional critique is the nomenclature, which in some instances is outdated; for example, the author uses the term lymphosarcoma.
In summary, Color Atlas of Cancer Cytology is a superbly illustrated, well-written book that successfully integrates cytologic and new technologic findings and will undoubtedly facilitate accurate diagnosis and, most important, our understanding of cytology.
EVA M. WOJCIK, MD
Copyright College of American Pathologists Oct 2001
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