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Science. 1991 Nov 22;254(5035):1153-60.

Chromosome aberrations and cancer.

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  • 1Somatic Cell Genetics Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom.


Cancer may be defined as a progressive series of genetic events that occur in a single clone of cells because of alterations in a limited number of specific genes: the oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. The association of consistent chromosome aberrations with particular types of cancer has led to the identification of some of these genes and the elucidation of their mechanisms of action. Consistent chromosome aberrations are observed not only in rare tumor types but also in the relatively common lung, colon, and breast cancers. Identification of additional mutated genes through other chromosomal abnormalities will lead to a more complete molecular description of oncogenesis.

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