, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 1-4

Mechanisms of inherited cancer susceptibility

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Abstract

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.

Project supported by the Cancer Research, UK