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Introduction to the ESMO Handbook on Cancer Treatment in Special Clinical Situations

The recent ESMO publication strategy in the field of basic oncology relies on two book series: the “Essentials for Clinicians” series, covering the management of the most common tumours divided by organ of origin, and the general topics and treatment strategies covered by the annual “Handbooks” series.

The 2012 Handbook was devoted to the clinical pharmacology of anti-cancer agents and included tables describing the use of each anti-cancer drug in some specific situations. Nevertheless, many patients present with special situations which cannot be managed simply by consulting a table. These include clinical situations such as pregnant women, HIV-positive patients and people with organ insufficiencies, as well as those who present with other barriers to straightforward treatment decisions such as religious constraints or the inability to consent.

We thought it useful to provide European oncologists with a handbook containing practical guidelines for these cases, which could be consulted quickly and easily to answer the most common and urgent questions when having to treat such a patient.

I am very thankful to all the authors across Europe who devoted an important part of their time to the writing of the chapters. I am even more grateful to the two editors, Veronika Ballová and Mariano Provencio Pulla, who invested so much time and energy in reviewing, correcting, modifying and co-ordinating the production of this book. From the two extremes of Europe, South West to North East, they have brilliantly co-operated with Jennifer Lamarre and Claire Bramley of the ESMO Staff to achieve this final product.

In the name of the ESMO Publishing Working Group, I want to thank all of them for this very valuable production.

Professor Michele Ghielmini

Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland
Chairman of ESMO Publishing Working Group

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