Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Autism and Cancer

  • Marco Ruggiero
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7264-1


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disease characterized by lasting behavioral problems in social communication and social interaction. Autistic individuals display repetitive behaviors and difficulty in adapting to change. Symptoms of autism begin in early childhood, usually in the first 2 years of life, and most individuals require help in daily life.


To many, autism and cancer may appear as two separate ailments with nothing in common. Autism is widely viewed as a poorly defined neurodevelopmental alteration with such a variety of symptoms that a commonly accepted designation is autism spectrum disorders. The etiology of autism is unknown, and the significance of genetic mutations versus environmental factors is still under investigation. Cancer is a disease of the genome, influenced by environmental factors and characterized by mutations in DNA and alterations in gene expression.

Little is understood about the pathogenesis or progression of autism; a recent...

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The author wishes to thank Dr. Jerry Blythe, MD, for critical review of the essay and for providing precious suggestions.


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See Also

  1. (2014) Apoptosis. In Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_361-2
  2. (2014) Signal transduction. In Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5301-5
  3. (2015) Lipid mediators. In Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_3372-3

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and DevelopmentSilver Spring SaglArzo-MendrisioSwitzerland