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The Biology of Cancer [Paperback]

Robert A. Weinberg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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The Biology of Cancer The Biology of Cancer 4.9 out of 5 stars (38)
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Book Description

June 7, 2006 0815340761 978-0815340768 1 Pck Pap/

The Biology of Cancer is a textbook for undergraduate and graduate biology students as well as medical students studying the molecular and cellular bases of cancer. The book presents the principles of cancer biology in an organized, cogent, and in-depth manner. The clarity of writing and the lucid full-color art program make the book accessible and engaging. The information unfolds through the presentation of key experiments which give readers a sense of discovery and provides insights into the conceptual foundation underlying modern cancer biology.

The Biology of Cancer synthesizes the findings of three decades of recent cancer research and proposes a conceptual framework from which to teach about these discoveries. It provides the necessary structure, organization, and content for a course on cancer biology for advanced undergraduates and beginning doctoral students. The book is comprehensive and offers many pedagogical features to assist teaching and learning. The book includes many recent and topical references, and is intended to empower the student to move directly into the primary research literature.

The text is up-to-date and provides current information on topics such as tumor stem cells and recently introduced chemotherapeutics. State-of-the-art techniques are discussed throughout. Modern biomedical research is explored, helping readers to hone their analytical abilities and to assimilate and think clearly about complex biological processes. The Biology of Cancer provides insights into many aspects of immunology, developmental biology, and neurobiology.

The exceptional full-color art program contains many images published for the first time. The book is extensively illustrated with schematic drawings, micrographs, computer-generated models and graphs. The pieces were chosen to support and clarify the concepts, as well as to supply additional interest.

Besides its value as a textbook, The Biology of Cancer will be a useful reference for individuals working in biomedical laboratories, and for clinical professionals.

Editorial Reviews


This is an impressively thoughtful, beautifully balanced analysis of where we stand today in the critical attempt to understand, and thereby defeat cancer as a scourge on humanity. Not only is it the perfect text for a serious course on cancer biology, it should be read by every cancer researcher - Bruce Alberts, University of California, San Francisco, USA

The Biology of Cancer is no doubt the definitive statement on its topic today. -Science, 11 August 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5788

There is no comparable text in cancer biology and no single book that is so current and informative. -Nature, November 30, 2006, Vol 444

'The Biology of Cancer, written by the distinguished American cancer biologist Robert Weinberg, is by far the most extensive of these new works and, as the product of a single author, is a remarkable achievement. The book is beautifully illustrated in full colour and well supplied with key review articles. It is extremely well written in language that should be accessible to the non-expert. Overall, this is a remarkable achievement that is by far the most comprehensive coverage of this field available.' - The Times Higher Education Supplement, February 23rd 2007

"The breadth of the topics covered, the clear writing style, the logical organization and the beautiful figures make The Biology of Cancer a classic text for any biologist interested in cancer...An additional strength of the book is the multimedia CD...¦Thus, The Biology of Cancer is not only a great read but also an outstanding learning tool."-Nature Cell Biology (November 2007) vol. 9, no. 11

About the Author

Dr. Robert A. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is an internationally recognized authority on the genetic basis of human cancer.

Dr. Weinberg and his colleagues isolated the first human cancer-causing gene, the ras oncogene, and the first known tumor suppressor gene, Rb, the retinoblastoma gene. The principal goal of his research program is to determine how oncogenes, their normal counterparts (proto-oncogenes), and tumor suppressor genes fit together in the complex circuitry that controls cell growth. More recently, his group has succeeded in creating the first genetically defined human cancer cells. He is particularly interested in applying this knowledge to improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Dr. Weinberg is the author or editor of five books and more than 325 articles. His three most recent books, intended for a lay audience, are "One Renegade Cell", "Racing to the Beginning of the Road: The Search for the Origin of Cancer" and "Genes and the Biology of Cancer," co-authored with Dr. Harold E. Varmus, former Director of the National Institutes of Health. He is an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Among Dr. Weinberg's many honors and awards are the Discover Magazine 1982 Scientist of the Year, the National Academy of Sciences/U.S. Steel Foundation Award in Molecular Biology, the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research, the Harvey Prize from the American Society for Technion Israel Institute of Technology, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Keio Medical Foundation Prize, the 1997 National Medal of Science, the City of Medicine Award and the 2004 Wolf Foundation Prize and the Prince of Asturias Science Prize. He has served on scientific advisory boards for the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria, the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1942, Dr. Weinberg received his BS (1964) and PhD (1969) degrees in Biology from MIT. He did postdoctoral research at the Weizmann Institute and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, and then returned to MIT in 1972. In 1982, he was appointed Professor of Biology at MIT and also became one of the five original Members of the Whitehead Institute. He has been an American Cancer Society Research Professor at Whitehead and MIT since 1985.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 850 pages
  • Publisher: Garland Science; 1 Pck Pap/ edition (June 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815340761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815340768
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 8.3 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The State of the Art as it is Known Today. August 12, 2006
This textbook, aimed at the advanced undergraduate and graduate biology and medical students covers the basic biology of cancer at the molecular andcellular level. Research into cancer in many different directions has been continuing at an accelerated pace since about World War II. In 1975 a major breakthrough was made by H.E. Varmus and J.M. Bishop on San Francisco. The result has been the creation of the new branch of biology covered by this book.

The amount of information discovered in the three decades since then has given us an immense database on the root causes of cancer. The basic discovery that cancer is not one disease but many, some 110 at last count, has led to vast amounts of data.

This book begins to lay out the underlying laws and principles that are beginning to emerge from that data. At the same time, this book is written as a recruiting pamphlet to attract new generations of researchers to move the science forward. While the book points out the discoveries that have been made, it also points out areas where questions remain.

At 850 pages, this is a large book, covering an immense amount of material. In addition there is a CD-ROM with even more material. It has figures, tables, micrographs loaded into Powerpoint presentations that cover each chapter which provides an excellent study aid. There are mini-lectures on various subjects. There are also several movies that will aid in the understanding of some of the processes involved.

A poster 'The Pathways of Human Cancer' summarizes many of the signaling pathways implicated in tumor development. This poster has been produced by Cell Signaling Technology.

The rate of development in the field means that this book will need a new edition shortly, but for the moment this represents the state of the art as it is known today.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive March 9, 2007
As a colorectal cancer survivor, I've undertaken a self-study of my cancer in particular, and the disease in general. Saltz's Colorectal Cancer is the comprehensive text for me, but it is better read with a foundation in the nuts and bolts of the disease. Sompayrac's How Cancer Works is a wonderful text for explaining what the nuts and bolts are, but this book, Biology of Cancer, not only explains these in better detail, it also explains how researchers figured all this out. The illustrations, graphs and photos are worth the price of the book itself--you can see the discoveries unfold in front of your own eyes. You don't have to be a scientist to start reading it, but you will probably have to become something of a scientist and retain what you are absorbing as you progress through the book. This is a textbook that is something of an all-star collection of information from a variety of scientific research textbooks.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Fascinating, Well-Written January 3, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books that I have read on any topic. The science of cancer is fascinating because it involves almost all aspects of cell biology. This book presents the subject in a clear, well-organized manner based on the experimental evidence. The author draws conclusions carefully always including possible alternative explanations so the reader senses the full complexity of the problem. He expresses a welcome skepticism about current cancer treatments and frankly discusses the controversies involved. The author has successfully organized a huge body of information in a way that makes it easy to read and understand.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biology of Cancer January 9, 2007
Superbe book, both for scientists and teachers/professors. Clearly written, easy understandable, nicely illustrated and up-to-date...except the concepts of apoptosis. I would have expected that Rob Weinberg talks more about the role of apoptosis deficiency in cancer promotion and resistance to treatment. The biology of cancer is too much "proliferation-driven" in this book. But this is only a minor criticism. The book is really fantastic and should be bought by all lecturers, teachers, professors who have to teach cancer biology.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By S. Lim
First you must consider whom the author is- Dr. Weinberg is a world renowned cancer researcher who has made fundamental contributions to cancer research, discovering some of the most important oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes (Ras and Rb). He's also a member of the national academy of sciences, etc...

As a student working in a cancer research lab, I found the book to be highly instructive.
Sure, I can just read review articles especially Annual Reviews for a lot of the things in the textbook, but there is no better single source for all things related to cancer in one package.
The figures are very nice as well, and they are simplified for easy viewing (FACS plot will not have jagged lines, for example).
However, the book is not missing in terms of primary data either as it has plenty of data from primary sources to demonstrate many of the points.

For example, there is a 50 page chapter on p53 alone.
You're not likely to find a 50 page review article on p53 anywhere else.
And the text is filled with recent references too, as evidenced by a 2006 ChIP paper's figure, referenced in the p53 chapter.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cancer Overview November 9, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a first year graduate student in a cancer biology department, I have found this book to be invaluable. Weinberg's style of writing is very thorough yet easy to follow. The classical experiments and research have been covered in detail, yet it is up to date on all the current cancer findings as well. There are also "sidenotes" included throughout the chapters that give the reader relevent information on the topic at hand without cluttering the actual text. I would recommend this book to fellow graduate students and for undergraduate cancer classes.

The book I ordered also came with a poster of "Pathways in Human Cancers" poster with much more details than Weinberg's "Subway map" of human cancer pathways.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Did a good job at the end of the day
I took this for Cancer Biology(BIO 5640) at Wayne State. Hated every minute of it at first due to the enormous amount of info but I caught up after a while, got a really strong... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Manzur Moidunny
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide
This textbook explains all the necessary concepts to understand the current state of the science of Cancer. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Keith Aspinall
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but wordy
The book is a good text for studing cancer and how it comes about. However, it is rather hard to read, as it uses difficult language. Read more
Published 13 months ago by A. Cimperman
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best textbook of my undergrad career
I majored in Biology, and off the top of my head, this was the most enjoyable (yes, I said "ENJOYABLE") of the multitude of textbooks I had to read. Read more
Published 14 months ago by MissyZ
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite textbook I've ever had
I'm actually keeping this book and using it as reference for myself. Cancer fascinates me, and this book helped me understand some of the biochemistry.
Published 14 months ago by Andrea Stephenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!!
This book is awesome!!! Weinberg takes you from the beginning of molecular biology to the present day knowledge and techniques of cancer biology and writes it with the layman in... Read more
Published 15 months ago by William Varenas
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must read.
First off I need to state that I am not an oncologist, oncology fellow or graduate student. I am an internist that practices general internal medicine. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Frank R. Laurri
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
I like it, it is as advertised. however some of the pictures are missing because of copy rights. I like it
Published 17 months ago by shebli
5.0 out of 5 stars the story of cancer
My son is a doctor in a cancer lab,and this book is at his desk book shelf.Willing to bet 1/3 of the doctors and cancer labs have this copy.
Published 18 months ago by Nick
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book
Its a good book as far as textbooks go. We needed it for my Biology of Cancer class, but we didnt use it a whole lot. Read more
Published 18 months ago by panda951
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