Genetic Influences in Human Tumors

  • Alfred G. KnudsonJr.


Although the genetic analysis of cancer in animals has played a major role in the development of knowledge and new ideas about the etiology and pathogenesis of cancer, the genetic study of human cancer has played a very minor role. Part of this difference is attributable to the fact animal data have been provided to a great extent by experimental manipulation of selected species and genetic strains, whereas human data have been largely descriptive and not related either to animal data or to critical etiological hypotheses. Genetic analyses of human cancer have consisted primarily of population, family, and twin studies of tumor occurrence and cytogenetic analyses. The results of cytogenetic analyses of human tumors are thoroughly discussed elsewhere in this volume, and reference to them in this chapter will be confined largely to discussion of genetically predisposing conditions which involve chromosomal abnormality. It is the study of the occurrence of tumors that has contributed most significantly to the understanding of etiology.


Chromosomal Abnormality Gene Carrier Medullary Carcinoma Xeroderma Pigmentosum Bronchogenic Carcinoma 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred G. KnudsonJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesHoustonUSA

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