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The Genetic Basis of Human Cancer

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Laura Parker

The Genetic Basis of Human CancerB Vogelstein9212006Tumorswelling of excess tissueNonneoplasticcystsNeoplasticexcess of cellsoBenign noninvasive not defined by size polyps adenomas nevioMalignantcancer can be invasive carcinomas sarcomas leukemiasFinal stage of malignancy is metastasisEach metastatic tumor is about a million cells that came from one invasive cell that migratedMany different types of cancer several different kinds of tumors can form in each organMetastasis results in the overtaking and destruction of organs and vessels leading to deathEssence of neoplasiaCell cycle control cell birthApoptosis control cell deathRatio of cell birth to cell death in a normal adult is 1 If cell death is greater than cell birth leads to atrophy Even a tiny increase of cell birth relative to cell death results in net cell growthtumor can take 2030 yearsWhat causes cancerComponents that can contribute include viruses other infectious agents breakdown in immunity changes in gene expressionThe basis of cancer is mutations in specific genesSome people are predisposed to getting cancer via a hereditary mutation but this is not enough to cause cancer on its ownMore mutations nonhereditary must be acquired during a persons lifetime for cancer to developA cancer cell has some growth advantage so it can predominate over normal cells leading to a wave of clonal expansion Its progeny also predominate over other cells leading to more waves of clonal expansion and so onCancer Causing GenesOncogenesnormally stimulate growthSuppressor genesnormally inhibit growthRepair genesnormally limit mutations but if the repair gene is defective it will accelerate the onset of mutations
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