Introduction to Genetic Analysis 560

Introduction to Genetic Analysis 560 - 559 17.5 Cancer: the...

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Unformatted text preview: 559 17.5 Cancer: the genetics of aberrant cell number regulation The multicellular solution to life that has evolved in higher animals relies on the collaboration and communi- cation exhibited by the organized cells of the tissues and organ systems. In a sense, cancer cells have reverted to an antisocial, isolated state where they operate without external constraint. Cancerous cells are deaf to signals from neighboring cells to stop dividing or to activate their self-destruct systems. Mutations in cancer cells Several lines of evidence point to a genetic origin of the transformation of cells from the benign into the cancer- ous state. 1. Most carcinogenic agents (chemicals and radiation) are also mutagenic, suggesting that they produce cancer by introducing mutations into genes. 2. In the past few years, several alleles that increase susceptibility to cancer have been cloned and mapped....
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