Book: Medical Immunology, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
In 1986, Marcel Dekker, Inc., published the first edition of Introduction to Medical Immunology. It is remarkable that in 2001 the same publisher continues to enthusiastically back the publication of the fifth edition, now with the shorter title of Medical Immunology. This is a book that goes against the grain. Notes in the margins, boxes with correlations, or learning objectives will not challenge the reader. What we try to provide is a classic text with updated information, written with a solid medical perspective. We believe that this approach is the most appropriate one for the education of physicians of the 21st century. Whether used by a medical student or by a resident, intern, or young specialist, the book will provide a good balance between basic and clinical science. Of course, it is as true now as it was years ago that the field of immunology continues to grow at a brisk pace, and that many concepts are victims of constant revision. It is very true of immunology that the more we know the greater is our ignorance. But all of us involved in the fifth edition have enthusiastically undertaken the task of providing a general introductory book that should remain viable for half a decade. If we use past editions as a yardstick, we have achieved this goal.
This new edition has been thoroughly revised and reorganized. We have, obviously, maintained its emphasis on the clinical application of immunology. We also remain faithful to our strong conviction that this textbook is written not to impress our peers with extraordinary insights or revolutionary knowledge, but rather to be helpful to medical students and young professionals who need an introduction to the field. This means that the scientific basis of immunology needs to be clearly conveyed without allowing the detail to obscure the concept. The application to medicine needs to be transparently obvious, but without unnecessary exaggeration. The text must present a reasonably general and succinct overview, but needs to cover areas that appear likely to have a strong impact in the foreseeable future. The book should stimulate students to seek more information and to develop his or her own “thinking” but cannot be a castle of theoretical dreams (and nightmares).