This book presents a masterful overview of the mechanics of blood cell formation and the factors that control blood cell growth. Cells circulating in the blood perform functions essential for the survival of organisms, yet blood cells and associated blood-cell-forming (hemopoietic) tissues have certain features that make them quite different from other vital organs in the body. These features include the short life span of mature blood cells, the multiplicity of blood cell types, and the wide dispersion of hemopoietic tissue in the body.
The regulation of hemopoiesis in response to emergencies such as blood loss or infections is an exceedingly complex process. However, our knowledge of hemopoietic growth factors, known generally as colony-stimulating factors or CSFs, has made exciting advances in recent years. This book provides a leading authority’s review of the purification and cloning of CSFs and their actions in regulating white blood cell production in the body. Donald Metcalf also examines the role of CSFs in controlling resistance to infections and in the initiation and suppression of myeloid leukemia.
Metcalf’s involvement at the center of this research from its inception to the present day enables him to give a historical view as well as a lucid summary of recent research. In addition, he addresses the broader question of the relation between growth control and cancer development. This excellent synopsis should be of particular interest to hematologists, virologists, general clinicians, and medical students.