Pediatric CNS Tumors, 2nd Edition. Nalin Gupta, Anuradha Banerjee, Daphne Haas-Kogan (Editors). Springer 2010, 357 pages, 85 illustrations, $199.00.
Pediatric CNS Tumors is a comprehensive outline of pediatric cranial and intramedullary spinal tumors with a particular emphasis on various treatment strategies and outcome for each common tumor type. This is the 2nd edition of the prior successful 1st edition of Pediatric CNS Tumors. The second edition includes new chapters on embryonal tumors, rare tumor types, and a chapter on palliative care. Advances in treatment and current therapeutic agents under development are also discussed.
Overall, the book is divided into 17 chapters with the majority of initial chapters pertaining to the most common pediatric cranial tumors. The last few chapters are dedicated to relatively modern and newer imaging techniques and advances in radiation therapy. Certain chapters such as current surgical management, advances in radiation therapy and chemotherapy will be particularly interesting to radiologists as these topics are usually not included in conventional radiology text books. This probably has to do with many of the authors of this book, including the editors being neurosurgeons. There is also a chapter dedicated to the common intramedullary spinal tumors.
Each of the initial chapters describing the common tumors is divided in an identical fashion into an introduction, epidemiology, pathology and a clinical features section followed by a section on diagnosis and imaging and treatment. Treatment algorithms on each tumor type are described. There is an extensive pathological description of tumors including ice color images, something not usually seen in radiology textbooks.
The chapter on modern neuroimaging of brain tumors is particularly impressive and would be very useful to any neuroradiologist. Besides a review of the relatively newer techniques such as MR spectroscopy and perfusion/diffusion, there is also a description of relatively much newer investigative techniques such as blood oxygen level-dependant (BOLD) and magnetoencephalography.
The limitations of this book are few, if any. Firstly, it should be noted that this is not intended to be an authoritative text on imaging, surgery or analogy of CNS tumors. Not every tumor has been included, which I think was consciously done by the authors who wanted to do a comprehensive description of the more common CNS tumors rather than describe each and every possible tumor, which they have clearly succeeded in doing. As a radiologist, the one drawback I can point to is the fewer number of images than normally seen in radiology textbooks. It would have also been nice if diffusion and MR spectroscopy images were added to the imaging descriptions of all tumors.
Overall, this is an excellent textbook on description of the common pediatric CNS tumors with special emphasis on current controversies and treatment strategies, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. This book can serve as an excellent text for not only neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists, but also medical and surgical oncologists as well as other physicians involved in the various aspects of treatment of pediatric CNS neoplasms.