On the Correlation between Mutagenicity and Carcinogenicity

  • G. R. Mohn
Part of the Developments in Oncology book series (DION, volume 1)


Current estimations on the importance of environmental factors in the etiology of cancer is summarized with special emphasis on the role of chemical agents. The apparent, empirical high degree of correlation between mutagenicity of chemical substances and their carcinogenic activity has led to the proposal of employing short term mutagenicity tests for detecting carcinogens. Arguments in favour and against a causal relationship between the processes of mutation induction and primary cancer initiation have been reviewed; many data favour a mutational change in DNA as initiating event of cancer but they also stress the primordial importance of cytoplasmic factors in the subsequent steps of cancer progression. It is concluded that mutagenicity tests are of value for qualitatively assessing the potential carcinogenicity of environmental chemicals and that further investigations and developments are necessary to reach a more quantitative and therefore predictive capacity.


Mutagenicity Test Mutation Induction Xeroderma Pigmentosum Cancer Initiation Ethyl Methane Sulfonate 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers bv, The Hague/Boston/London 1980

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  • G. R. Mohn

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