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Immunomodulators in the Rheumatic Diseases

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  • Medicine


BOOK REVIEWS 107 (Springfield, IL, Charles C. Thomas, 1970, 65 pp.) will be much more useful in writing the report. The book will have its greatest value in counseling the budding scientist that things never move as fast as hoped, that there are usually a few catastrophes during research, that it is important to find a topic compatible with the laboratory in which you work, but not too similar to what others in the lab are doing, and that sometimes a topic turns out to have gone sour and would best be abandoned. But these sensible bits of information should be available from the thesis advisor or supervisor. Much of this book would be worth a glance, even by an American neophyte; little of it would justify purchase as a vade mecum. PHILIP K. BONDY Department ofInternal Medicine Yale University School ofMedicine IMMUNOMODULATORS IN THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES. Edited by Daniel E. Furst and Michael E. Weinblatt. New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1990. 261 pp. $99.75. Our limited understanding of the immune system and how it functions in health and disease often makes the treatment of rheumatic diseases quite frustrating. Our therapeutic armamentarium is small, frequently ineffective, and limited by untoward side effects. Recent advances in understanding how the immune system functions and how it is able to go awry has led to the development of newer modalities of therapy for the autoimmune diseases. This book outlines some of the strategies being introduced and summarizes their effectiveness. I The eight chapters, authored by knowledgeable experts in the field, are comprehen- sive reviews, each discussing a different modality. The first two chapters cover the experience with methotrexate and immunosuppressive agents such as azothioprine, alkylating agents, and combination chemotherapy. Later chapters deal with cyclospo- rine, retinoids, and gamma interferon, which are experimental forms of therapy, as well as the non-medicinal immunomodulators such as apheresis and total lymph node irradiation. The

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