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The rate of growth in our understanding of diseases of blood cells and coagulation proteins provides a challenge for the editors of a comprehensive textbook of hematology. The sequencing of individual genomes and the acquisition of knowledge in proteomics, metabolomics, and all the other burgeoning "-omics" fields as applied to hematologic disorders have accelerated the understanding of the pathogenesis of the diseases of our interest. The rate at which basic knowledge in molecular and cell biology and molecular immunology has been translated into improved diagnostic and therapeutic methods is equally impressive. Specific molecular targets for therapy in a myriad of hematological disorders have become reality, and it is not hyperbole to state that hematology has become the poster child for the rational design of therapeutics throughout all of medicine.

This edition of Williams Hematology includes many changes, we believe, for the better. Each chapter has been extensively revised or rewritten to provide the most current information available. Two new chapters have been added, Chapter 10 entitled Epigenetics and Genomics, to reflect the growing importance of this basic science in hematology, and Chapter 28 entitled Principles of Multipotential Cell Therapy for Tissue Replacement. In addition, several chapters have been divided, most notably the single chapter on non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been split into its constituent diseases, and the chapters on erythrocytosis and thrombocytosis have been divided into the myeloproliferative and reactive forms, to reflect our growing understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders and more targeted approaches to their therapy. Recognizing that at the heart of hematology is blood and marrow cell morphology, we have incorporated most of the collection of 274 images that appeared in a separate section of color plates in the 7th edition (as well as additional images) into the relevant topics in each chapter, allowing far easier access to highly informative illustrations and cellular morphology.

Apropos the age of information, the new edition of Williams Hematology is also available online, as part of the popular www.accessmedicine.com website. With direct links to a comprehensive drug therapy database and to other important medical texts, including Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine and Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Williams Hematology Online is part of a powerful resource covering all disciplines within medical education and practice. The online edition of Williams Hematology also includes PubMed links to journal articles cited in the references in our new edition.

For the first time, a CD accompanies the Williams Hematology book. The CD features a large selection of morphologies, illustrations, and drawings, from this new edition of Williams Hematology; these can be easily transported into PowerPoint™ format for use in lectures and presentations.

Finally, the Williams Manual of Hematology will once again be revised. The convenient Manual features the most clinically salient content from the parent text, and is perfect for use in time-restricted clinical situations. The Manual will be available for iPhone™ and other mobile formats.

The readers of the 8th edition of Williams Hematology will note the passing of a legend in hematology, Dr. Ernest Beutler. Ernie was a founding editor and the lead editor of Hematology for the 5th and 6th editions, continued to contribute as an editor for the 7th edition, and passed away in October 2008, while the 8th edition's revised and new chapters were being compiled. Ernie's thumbprint continues to permeate the 8th edition, including F1 and F2 generations of the Beutler pedigree, and it is to Ernie that we dedicate this edition.

The production of this book required the timely cooperation of 191 contributors. We are grateful for their work in providing this comprehensive and up-to-date text. Despite the growth of both basic and clinical knowledge and the passion that each of our contributors brings to the topic of their chapter, we have been able to maintain the text in a single volume through scrupulous attention to chapter length.

Each editor has had expert administrative assistance in the management of the manuscripts for which they were primarily responsible. We thank Carolina Bump in La Jolla, California; Susan Madden in Salt Lake City, Utah; and Orly Katz in Tel Aviv, Israel, for their very helpful participation in the production of the book. Special thanks go to Susan Daley in Rochester, New York, and Monica Gudea in La Jolla, California, who were responsible for coordinating the management of 141 chapters, including many new figures and tables, and managing other administrative matters, a challenging task that Ms. Daley and Ms. Gudea performed with skill and good humor. The editors also acknowledge the interest and support of our colleagues from McGraw-Hill, including James F. Shanahan, Editor-in-Chief, Internal Medicine; Harriet Lebowitz, Senior Project Development Editor for Williams Hematology; and Sylvia Rebert, Project Manager for Williams Hematology.

Kenneth Kaushansky
Marshall A. Lichtman
Thomas J. Kipps
Uri Seligsohn
Josef T. Prchal

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