Many physicians in practice today in the United States attended medical school before the discovery of much of the present knowledge about cancer. Although Pitot did not write this book for them, they would find it to be a reliable source of information about the fundamentals of oncology.
The book grew out of course notes for graduate classes in oncology. The first edition was so successful that it has been updated twice, the current book being the third edition.
While it is not an encyclopedia of oncology, it thoroughly covers the fundamental aspects of the etiology of cancer, its natural history, the immunobiology of cancer, and the relationships between the host and the tumor.
The principles of chemotherapy of cancer are presented in a chapter on chemotherapy, along with a brief history of the development of chemotherapeutic agents and a discussion of the complex program of drug development from screening