The Chemotherapy of Tropical Diseases

by Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, M.D., F.R.C.P., D.T.M. & H. (Cantab), Consulting Physician to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London, and John H. Walters, M.D., F.R.C.P., Lt. Colonel I.M.S. (ret.), Physician, The Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London, 164 + xi pages. Springfield, Illinois, Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1961. $7.00

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  • Cornell University Medical College, 1300 York Avenue New York 21, New York

Few subjects in medicine require so urgently a critical chemotherapeutic analysis as do the tropical diseases. Such an approach to one parasitic infection—malaria—has broadened our understanding of the disease and simultaneously has stimulated major contributions to enzymochemistry, hematology and medical genetics.

Unfortunately, the promise of the title, “The Chemotherapy of Tropical Diseases” is unfulfilled. Nowhere in the text is there any discussion of the basic biochemical and physiologic aspects of modern chemotherapy. The short (164 pages) volume is an old-fashioned catalogue of tropical diseases and listing of drugs in current and historic use with a scattered commentary on the individual diseases and their treatment. If carefully edited, the book might have been a satisfactory chapter placed at the end of a textbook on tropical medicine.

The volume, however, has been edited execrably. There are no true references, although the names of some investigators are noted in the text. Abbreviations are irritating.