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Genetic Markers of Cancer Susceptibility

Issue: Vol.3, No.4 - October 2004

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr Ravindran Ankathil
    Additional Professor, Division of Cancer Research, Regional Cancer Centre

The basic principles of multistage carcinogenesis predict that a number of factors, in addition to exposure to specific causative agents, influence the probability that tumours will develop in an important factor in the genesis of common cancers. Human populations display a wide range of inherent sensitivities to carcinogenesis. Only a fraction of the individuals exposed to carcinogen, even a potent one, will develop neoplasia. Individual susceptibility to cancer may result from several factor, including inherited or acquired alterations in proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes, differences in the metabolism of carcinogenic chemicals (uptake, activation and detoxification), genes controlling the repair of DNA or cellular damage, hormonal factors etc. Epigenetic changes in expression of these genes can also affect host susceptibility. Over the next decade, cancer researchers will be increasingly preoccupied with genetically susceptible subgroups and genetic markers of cancer susceptibility may emerge as a major focus for the next era of cancer research.

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