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Radiobiology for the Radiologist, Seventh Edition
Authors: Eric J. Hall and Amato J. Giaccia
ISBN 13:
Wolters Kluwer Health/ Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
List Price: $129.00  Soft Cover  875 Pages
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MedicalScienceBooks.com Medical Book Review:

     Radiobiology for the Radiologist, now in its 7th edition, has been at the forefront of the basic science education of radiologists and technicians for decades.  The reason, perhaps, is the expert distillation of what can be a bewildering array of studies and mathematical equations on which the science of the use of radiation and its cellular effects are based.  Another likely source of motivation for instructors and students of radiology to consistently turn to this text can be summed up in one word, readability.  Not only is the reader directed to the most essential information for a firm grounding in science, but these concepts are described in an approachable manner which is really effective for the novice student as well as those who wish to review the science after years of clinical practice.

     This 7th edition marks a notable improvement from prior additions, the inclusion of color in the illustration program as well as a selection of color imaging photographs.  As always, progress in the field of radiation biology has continued since the last edition and the authors have added several recent articles to the reference list but the large majority of the science presented in this volume relies heavily on more classic articles.  This can be viewed as a disadvantage by some, but the fundamentals of the field can’t be understood outside the context of those earlier papers, many written two or three decades ago. This  “back to basics” approach of explaining early papers on a particular topic to derive information that the reader can build upon adds to the “readability” factor mentioned above.  For example, acute radiation sickness is covered in part by description of an early study on rhesus monkeys with a graph from that publication used to illustrate the mortality associated with the hematopoietic damage received at various doses of radiation.  There tends to be a high degree of clarity in such early descriptions that can be easily lost in translation when dealing with more modern technology.

     Another area in which this book makes a valuable addition to the education of professionals in radiation science is in its chapter on cancer biology.  This chapter is a high yield synopsis of the major etiological theories of cancer with the prominent role of mutagenic effects of radiation highlighted very well.  Students involved with any of the several lines of research which meet at the tumor biology junction will find this part of the volume both interesting and a good summary of the big picture in cancer research.

     Radiobiology for the Radiologist 7th edition does an admirable job carrying on the tradition set by its predecessors.  It retains the succinct and understandable style that one familiar with older additions would expect while adding color illustrations which will no doubt appeal to many new adopters of the title.  Once again, this book can be recommended with no reservation to radiologists in training, graduate students in the biomedical sciences who employ radiation in their research, and all others who are interested in learning foundational information about this fascinating area of science and medicine.


In print since 1972, this seventh edition of Radiobiology for the Radiologist is the most extensively revised to date. It consists of two sections, one for those studying or practicing diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiation oncology; the other for those engaged in the study or clinical practice of radiation oncology--a new chapter, on radiologic terrorism, is specifically for those in the radiation sciences who would manage exposed individuals in the event of a terrorist event. The 17 chapters in Section I represent a general introduction to radiation biology and a complete, self-contained course especially for residents in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine that follows the Syllabus in Radiation Biology of the RSNA. The 11 chapters in Section II address more in-depth topics in radiation oncology, such as cancer biology, retreatment after radiotherapy, chemotherapeutic agents and hyperthermia.

Now in full color, this lavishly illustrated new edition is replete with tables and figures that underscore essential concepts. Each chapter concludes with a "summary of pertinent conclusions" to facilitate quick review and help readers retain important information. 



  • Clear, informative illustrations in four color 
  • New chapters on radiological terrorism, molecular imaging and retreatment with radiotherapy
  • Thorough revision of chapter on hyperthermia includes results from recent clinical trials
  • Extensive glossary of terms
  • "Summary of pertinent conclusions" and bibliography follow each chapter

Table of Contents:

Preface to the First Edition

Section I: For Students of Diagnostic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Radiation Oncology
1. Physics and Chemistry of Radiation Absorption
2. Molecular Mechanisms of DNA and Chromosome Damage and Repair
3. Cell Survival Curves
4. Radiosensitivity and Cell Age in the Mitotic Cycle
5. Fractionated Radiation and the Dose-Rate Effect
6. Oxygen Effect and Reoxygenation
7. Linear Energy Transfer and Relative Biologic Effectiveness
8. Acute Radiation Syndrome
9. Radioprotectors
10. Radiation Carcinogenesis
11. Heritable Effects of Radiation
12. Effects of Radiation on the Embryo and Fetus
13. Radiation Cataractogenesis
14. Radiologic Terrorism
15. Molecular Imaging
16. Doses and Risks in Diagnostic Radiology, Interventional Radiology and Cardiology, and Nuclear Medicine
17. Radiation Protection

Section II: For Students of Radiation Oncology
18. Cancer Biology
19. Dose-Response Relationships for Model Normal Tissues
20. Clinical Response of Normal Tissues
21. Model Tumor Systems
22. Cell, Tissue, and Tumor Kinetics
23. Time, Dose, and Fractionation in Radiotherapy
24. Retreatment after Radiotherapy: The Possibilities and the Perils
25. Alternative Radiation Modalities
26. The Biology and Exploitation of Tumor Hypoxia
27. Chemotherapeutic Agents from the Perspective of the Radiation Biologist
28. Hyperthermia




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