Publication Details

Bommer, U., Vine, K. L. & Cancer Council Australia, O. (2014). Cancer biology: molecular and genetic basis. In S. Sabesan, I. Olver & O. Cancer Council Australia (Eds.), Clinical Oncology for Medical Students (p. On Line). Sydney: Cancer Council Australia Oncology Education Committee.

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Clinical Oncology for Medical Students


Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled growth and proliferation whereby cells have escaped the body's normal growth control mechanisms and have gained the ability to divide indefinitely. It is a multi-step process that requires the accumulation of many genetic changes over time (Figure 1). These genetic alterations involve activation of proto-oncogenes to oncogenes, deregulation of tumour suppressor genes and DNA repair genes and 'immortalisation' which will be discussed in this chapter.