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The Biology of Cancer

Robert A Weinberg, Robert A. Weinberg
Publication Date:
June 09, 2006
Content Details:
864 pages | 800 illustrations

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  • About the Book

    Book Summary

    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.


    • Provides a comprehensive coverage of virtually all areas of cancer research, emphasizing the cellular and molecular basis of cancer.
    • Introduces the reader to the scientists and experiments that have led to the understanding of the underlying laws and principles of cancer biology.
    • Vividly illustrated with over 800 figures – most are original diagrams and images never seen before in scientific literature.
    • Every book contains a CD-ROM with images from the book.
    • End-of-chapter questions provide review, analysis and opportunity for discussion.
    • ‘Key Concepts’ sections summarize each chapter’s essential points.
    • Written by a world-renowned expert, Robert A. Weinberg has worked in many of the research areas described in this book and has a familiarity with ongoing research.
    • A select number of animations, molecular models, and videos will be available for students and instructors.


      "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

  • Contents

    1. The Biology and Genetics of Cells and Organisms 
    2. The Nature of Cancer 
    3. Tumor Viruses 
    4. Cellular Oncogenes 
    5. Growth Factors and their Receptors 
    6. Cytoplasmic Signaling Circuitry Programs Many of the Traits of Cancer 
    7. Tumor Suppressor Genes 
    8. pRb and Control of the Cell Cycle Clock 
    9. p53 and Apoptosis: Master Guardian and Executioner 
    10. Eternal Life: Cell Immortalization and Tumorigenesis 
    11. Multistep Tumorigenesis 
    12. Maintenance of Genomic Integrity and the Development of Cancer 
    13. Dialogue Replaces Monologue: Heterotypic Interactions and the Biology of Angiogenesis 
    14. Moving Out: Invasion and Metastasis
    15. Crowd Control: Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy 
    16. The Rational Treatment of Cancer

  • Instructor Resources

    Instructor Resources

    For the following resources, verified instructors can visit the resource page for The Biology of Cancer.

    The Art of The Biology of Cancer
    Artwork is available in PowerPoint and JPEG formats.

    Media Guide
    Documents that overview the media resources available for instructors and students who use Living in a Microbial World. In addition to reviewing each media item, it contains the transcripts of the voice-over narration for the movies found on the Website.

    Additional References
    Additional references for The Biology of Cancer are available.

    Videos, and audio files available.

  • Student Resources

    Student Resources

    For the following resources, students can visit the resource page for The Biology of Cancer.

    Videos and audio files available.

    Every copy of the book comes with a “Pathways in Human Cancer” poster that summarizes some of the key signaling pathways implicated in tumorigenesis and tumor progression in humans.

  • E-book and Custom Pub

    E-book and Custom Publishing

    The Biology of Cancer is now available in the US and Canada as a downloadable e-book from VitalSource.

    VitalBook technology enables students to:

    • Search the text
    • Add highlights and notes, and share them
    • Download to multiple devises, including iPads

    The various e-book options for The Biology of Cancer enable students to save significantly over the printed version.

    • eBook purchase: $98.00 (30% off list price)
    • 1 year e-rental: $84.00 (40% off list price)
    • 180 day e-rental: $70.00 (50% off list price)
    • Individual chapters: $9.00 each

    To purchase or rent the e-book at the VitalSource store go to:

    Garland Science Custom Publishing
    Garland Science Custom Publishing gives educators the ability to create their own course materials for use in the classroom-in e-book and/or print format. Faculty have complete control over what is added and may add chapters from Garland Science textbooks, web articles and blog postings, and self-authors content in PDF or Word format. Our site provides real-time copyright clearance, the ability to see a running total price as you build your book, and a cost savings for students.

    For more information visit

  • Downloads

    Samples & Downloads

    Download the Detailed Table of Contents from the book.

    Click on any of the links below to download a printable PDF of a sample chapter.

    Chapter 2: The Nature of Cancer