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BIOL 1F25 T1 L3 Genes and Cancer

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Brock University
Gaynor E Spencer

Events in embryonic development that are relevant to cancer cells - Massive amounts of cell division - Tissue invasion - Stimulation of blood vessel development (angiogenesis) - Cell migration - Cell differentiation - Cell death (apoptosis) Epidemiological Evidence Why is the relationship exponential? Why not linear? Two possible reasons: (a) many changes to normal cells are required for cancer development; or (b) the probability of a single event increases over time Cytological Evidence ? Genes and Cancer - Bishop and Varmus proposed that the ancestral form of RSV picked up a copy of the src gene from an infected cell by mistake o This copy was no longer regulated properly and now acted as an ONCOGENE - 1979, Weinberg and colleagues: o Human cells treated and transformed (turned into cancerous cells) by a chemical carcinogen carried an oncogene called “ras” o They proposed that the mutation - Since then, more than 200 human oncogenes have been discovered o Note: Proto-oncogene, normal, non mutant form that does not contribute to cancer. Oncogene, mutant form that contributes to cancer Very Important Points - We are born with the normal allele (form) of each of these genes (almost always). We inherit the proto-oncogene - One of the steps in cancer development is the change of a proto-oncogene into an oncogene by
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