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Semin Cancer Biol. 2005 Feb;15(1):3-12.

Multiple numerical chromosome aberrations in cancer: what are their causes and what are their consequences?

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Department of Genetics, Portuguese Oncology Institute, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal.


Several neoplastic tumor types are cytogenetically characterized by multiple numerical chromosome abnormalities without concomitant structural karyotypic changes. At present, no good gene-level theories are at hand to explain the pathogenetic effect of these changes during tumorigenesis, nor is it known how they arise or what causes them. Genetic instability is often invoked as an underlying cause, but actual data favoring this explanation are meager or non-existing. Numerical chromosome changes and ploidy shifts allow the simultaneous alteration of multiple cancer-relevant genes, thereby reducing the number of independent genomic events necessary for carcinogenesis and the need for postulating genomic instability as a necessity in cancer development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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