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Can J Surg. 1999 Aug;42(4):259-66.

Molecular alterations in bone and soft-tissue sarcoma.

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Musculoskeletal Oncology Unit, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ont.


Understanding the molecular alterations evident in human cancer offers the potential for more meaningful diagnosis and more accurate prediction of cancer risk as well as the hope of developing novel therapies. In this review, several of the molecular abnormalities identified in both bone and soft-tissue sarcoma are outlined. Some sarcomas exhibit consistent gene translocations, which produce a unique oncoprotein that can serve as a molecular fingerprint for the sarcoma subtype. Mutations in tumour suppressor genes result in cell proliferation that is not regulated by normal cell cycle control genes. Amplification (multiple copies) of genes that act as positive controls on cell division have a similar effect on increasing cell proliferation. Finally, the understanding of drug resistance and sarcoma response to signalling systems such as IGF ligand and receptors may help in designing new therapies based on molecular changes in the cancer.

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