DNA Damage and Carcinogenesis

  • R. B. Setlow
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 40)


A number of independent lines of evidence, other than cell biology ones, support the somatic mutation theory of cancer. They indicate that damage to DNA can lead to cancer and hence one should be concerned about environmental agents that react with DNA. Nevertheless, there are arguments against this point of view (1) and, even if damage to DNA is the important element in cancer initiation, one should always keep in mind the possibilities that the switch from normal to cancer cells may arise from faulty transcription and hence translation (as seems to be the case in the death of UV-irradiated arrested human fibroblasts). Moreover, promotion steps subsequent to initiation may be of overriding importance at the initiation doses received at low exposure-rate levels.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Setlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUptonUSA

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