Chemical Carcinogenesis

  • D. H. Phillips


It is apparent from studies of the incidence of cancer in different parts of the world that some striking regional differences exist. For most human cancers there is a lack of evidence to implicate known carcinogenic viruses as the critical factors responsible [the exceptions are the associations between hepatitis-B virus infection and liver cancer, herpesviruses and cervical cancer and Burkitt’s lymphoma, and HTLV and T-cell lymphoma (see Chapter 4)]. Nor do genetic factors appear to play a major role in these geographical differences; studies on migrants reveal that, within two generations, i.e. once they have absorbed the habits and culture of their adopted nation, the migrants experience cancer incidences similar to those of the indigenous populations. Therefore the concept has emerged that the majority of human cancers is caused by environmental factors. Studies on chemical carcinogenesis originated from observations of unusually high incidences of cancers among workers in certain industrial occupations and from subsequent laboratory studies in which tumours were induced in animals by the same chemical mixtures to which the ‘at-risk’ groups of workers were exposed.


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Mouse Skin Chemical Carcinogen Xeroderma Pigmentosum Carcinogenic Activity 
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Further Reading

  1. Becker, F.F. (ed.) (1982) Cancer: a Comprehensive Treatise, vol. 1, Etiology: Chemical and Physical Carcinogenesis, 2nd edn, Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Doll, R. & Peto, R. (1981) The Causes of Cancer, Oxford University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Grover, P.L. (ed.) (1979) Chemical Carcinogens and DNA, 2 vols, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FLGoogle Scholar
  4. Hiatt, H.H., Watson, J.D. & Winsten, J.A. (eds) (1977) Origins of Human Cancer, 3 vols, Cold Spring Harbor, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Miller, E.C. (1978) Some current perspectives on chemical carcinogenesis in humans and experimental animals: presidential address. Cancer Res., 38, 1479–96Google Scholar
  6. Miller, E.C. & Miller, J.A. (1979) Milestones in chemical carcinogenesis. Sem. Oncol., 6, 445–60Google Scholar
  7. Searle, C.E. (ed.) (1976) Chemical Carcinogens, ACS Monograph No. 173, American Chemical Society, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  8. Singer, B. & Grunberger, D. (1983) Molecular Biology of Mutagens and Carcinogens, Plenum Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter B. Farmer and John M. Walker 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. H. Phillips

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