Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 1–4

Mechanisms of inherited cancer susceptibility


DOI: 10.1631/jzus.B073001

Cite this article as:
Hodgson, S. J. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. B (2008) 9: 1. doi:10.1631/jzus.B073001


A small proportion of many cancers are due to inherited mutations in genes, which result in a high risk to the individual of developing specific cancers. There are several classes of genes that may be involved: tumour suppressor genes, oncogenes, genes encoding proteins involved in DNA repair and cell cycle control, and genes involved in stimulating the angiogenic pathway. Alterations in susceptibility to cancer may also be due to variations in genes involved in carcinogen metabolism. This review discusses examples of some of these genes and the associated clinical conditions caused by the inheritance of mutations in such genes.

Key words

CancerInherited mutationsDNA repairTumour suppressor geneOncogenes

CLC number


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cancer Genetics, St Georges HospitalUniversity of LondonLondonUK