The first edition of this book, published in 1985 was a testimony to the dramatic molecular revolution that was taking place in biology and consequently in cancer research at that time. The book evolved from a series of introductory lectures developed to help new students and research fellows that came to work at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London to assimilate the rapidly evolving body of knowledge on cancer. These popular talks were designed to give the non-expert a background to related areas of research and were
given by experts from within the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, many of whom subsequently contributed chapters to the first edition of the book.
Twenty years later, the need for a comprehensive introduction to this broad field is even more apparent and the introductory lectures at what is now the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute continue and are as popular as ever. Today, laboratory science has begun to have a real impact on clinical medicine and it is of utmost importance that scientists have not only a broad view of laboratory cancer research but also a good understanding of the most up to date treatment options. Similarly, it is essential that clinicians treating the various types of neoplastic disease are aware of developments in basic science and can apply these appropriately. It is our view that only when determined attempts to bridge the gap between the laboratory and clinic are made by both clinicians and scientists that rapid translation will take place. Our objective has been to facilitate acquisition of basic information on all aspects of cancer research to facilitate this process.