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Cancer Lett. 2008 Feb 18;260(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2007.11.027. Epub 2007 Dec 31.

Field defects in progression to gastrointestinal tract cancers.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, and Hematology/Oncology Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Tucson, AZ 85723, USA.


A field of defective tissue may represent a pre-malignant stage in progression to many cancers. However, field defects are often overlooked in studies of cancer progression through assuming tissue at some distance from the cancer is normal. We indicate, however, the generality of field defects in gastrointestinal cancers, including cancers of the oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, bile duct, pancreas, small intestine and colon/rectum. Common features of these field defects are reduced apoptosis competence, aberrant proliferation and genomic instability. These features are often associated with high bile acid exposure and may explain the association of dietary-related factors with cancer progression.

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