Hematology has seen many major developments since this book was first published, as molecular techniques become more powerful and the genetics of blood disorders are unraveled. The Human Genome Project has now been completed and a huge amount of new genetic information has become available.
Of course, most funding and resources continue to be spent on understanding the molecular basis of malignant disease and hence there has been a huge increase in our knowledge base for leukemias, lymphomas and other malignancies. Molecular biology has also begun to bring with it advances in treatment, with molecules devised to reduce the tumor burden through much more subtle and selective mechanisms than have been possible with conventional chemotherapy agents. Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), one of the best studied human malignancies, is amenable to treatment with the molecule STI571, revolutionizing our therapy of this disease. Dr Brian Druker's seminal work on this molecule is explained in detail in his chapter devoted entirely to the biology and management of CML. We have updated all the chapters on malignant hematology and have included some new chapters, such as 'Stem cells', 'Secondary myelodysplasia/acute myelogenous leukemia—assessment of risk' and 'Gene expression profiling in the study of lymphoid malignancies'.
Non-malignant disease has also enjoyed the benefits of this new genetic information and the original chapters have been updated to reflect this new knowledge. New chapters dealing with the molecular basis of blood group antigens, the molecular basis of von Willebrand disease, and platelet disorders have been added by leading clinicians and researchers in these fields.
However, despite the growing complexity of the patho-genesis, diagnosis and management of patients with blood diseases, the ethos of the book remains the same: to provide a succinct account of the molecular biology of hematological disease written at a level at which it should be of benefit to the seasoned molecular biologist and the practicing clinician alike. We have retained the original structure for the chapters, with high-quality artwork and 'Further reading' sections, in order to make the book visually appealing and relevant to modern hematology practice.
As before, we welcome any comments or suggestions from readers, which we will attempt to incorporate into the next edition.
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