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A Matter of Life and Cell Death

In multicellular organisms, mutations in somatic cells affecting critical genes that regulate cell proliferation and survival cause fatal cancers. Repair of the damage is one obvious option, although the relative inconsequence of individual cells in metazoans means that it is often a “safer” strategy to ablate the offending cell. Not surprisingly, corruption of the machinery that senses or implements DNA damage greatly predisposes to cancer. Nonetheless, even when oncogenic mutations do occur, there exist potent mechanisms that limit the expansion of affected cells by suppressing their proliferation or triggering their suicide. Growing understanding of these innate mechanisms is suggesting novel therapeutic strategies for cancer.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Review, Illustration
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Gerard Evan of Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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