‘The story of oncology is not only fascinating but also contains many accounts of dead ends, chance discoveries, illusions, mistakes and disappointments alongside the few successes.’These words are taken from the introduction to this book. The author, professor emeritus of Medical Oncology, reviews all aspects of the problem of cancer from a historical perspective, from the oldest existing records to the latest scientific and medical advances. It will interest the many people engaged in the treatment of cancer to read how the current therapeutic methods came about, and the book may also provide inspiration for cancer researchers, and for all those directly or indirectly involved with cancer. The layman looking for background information on a particular treatment may find it useful too. The various chapters can be read independently. A glossary and a few explanatory diagrams augment the text.This book grew out of an invitation the author received to lecture on the history of oncology. During his background reading, he discovered that there was no single volume dealing with the entire history of the subject. Fortunately, however, a great deal of information could be found here and there in the literature. As he read, he was struck by the fascinating stories behind many discoveries, and felt impelled to put them together in a single comprehensive account. The results of his labors are presented in this remarkable volume.The author, Prof. D.J.Th. (Theo) Wagener, was head of the department of Medical Oncology at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands from 1982 to 2001, chairman of the Educational Committee of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), a member of the Educational Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and a member of various international scientific working groups, mainly of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).