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Cancer biology 

Cancer biology
Chapter:
Cancer biology
Author(s):

Audrey Yandle

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199672844.003.0005
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date: 18 August 2019

The biology of cancer is complex and is associated with a cluster of cellular changes that endows the cancer cell with a distinct growth and survival advantage over its normal counterparts. Additionally, cancer cells have altered relationships with both the surrounding micro-environment and key components of the immune system, enabling them to evade destruction, survive in seemingly adverse environments and to escape and colonise distant sites. These important advantages are gained as a result of acquired permanent changes in the cell genome, leading to fundamental alterations in cellular structures and functional pathways. The types of genes involved in the development and progression of cancer are those that are associated with the cellular pathways and control mechanisms involved in a range of processes including cell cycling and proliferation, gene and DNA stability and repair, cell ageing and cell death.

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