The Role of Mutagenesis in Carcinogenesis

  • James E. Trosko
  • Chia-cheng Chang


Although mutagenesis is recognized by scientists as a fundamental biological process, there are many who do not believe it plays any role in the genesis of several major diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, teratological or congenital defects, and aging. If one accepts (1) the concept of “disease” as the manifestation of disruptions of biological, biochemical, or biophysical processes controlled by genetic products interacting with environmental factors (Brody, 1973), and (2) the concept of cancer as a phenotype (Lynch and Kaplan, 1974; Trosko and Chu, 1975), then it should be apparent that, conceptually, mutations (as well as gene modulations and enzyme inhibitors or stimulators) ought to be important causes of diseases. To demonstrate at the molecular level that either a particular DNA molecule or its product which controls cell division has been altered via mutagenesis in cancer cells is still a difficult technical task, if for no other reason than the fact that the genes and proteins involved in normal cell division have not yet been delineated (Trosko et al., 1977a).


Down Syndrome Phorbol Ester Chemical Carcinogen Xeroderma Pigmentosum Chinese Hamster Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Trosko
    • 1
  • Chia-cheng Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Development, College of Human MedicineMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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