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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. Feb 2006; 7(2): 164.
Published online Jan 19, 2006. doi:  10.1631/jzus.2006.B0164
PMCID: PMC1363765
Human cancer genetics*
Marilyn Li1 and Donna Albertson2
1Medical School, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699, USA
2Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA
†E-mail:mli2/at/tulane.edu; albertson/at/cc.ucsf.edu
Received November 22, 2005; Accepted December 26, 2005.
Abstract
The short report will be focused on the genetic basis and possible mechanisms of tumorigenesis, common types of cancer, the importance of genetic diagnosis of cancer, and the methodology of cancer genetic diagnosis. They will also review presymptomatic testing of hereditary cancers, and the application of expression profiling to identify patients likely to benefit from particular therapeutic approaches.
Keywords: Cancer genetics, Oncogenes, Tumor suppress genes, Microarray CGH (comparative genomic hybridization), Presymptomatic testing
Cancer is a genetic disorder. Although hereditary cancers account for only a small fraction of all tumors, most cancers are caused by a variable mix of heredity and environment that leads to accumulations of genetic alterations and then uncontrolled cell proliferations (Kops et al., 2005). In addition, genetic alteration is one of the a few most important biological factors that determine the diagnosis and prognosis of different cancers and dictate the treatment strategies for cancer patients. Furthermore, cancer specific therapies based on specific genetic alterations have opened a brand new era of cancer treatment (Jiang et al., 2003). This lecture will focus on the genetic basis and possible mechanisms of tumorigenesis, common types of cancer, the importance of genetic diagnosis of cancer, and the methodology of cancer genetic diagnosis (Pinkel and Albertson, 2005).
The workshop will also review presymptomatic testing of hereditary cancers, focusing on hereditary breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. We will review the nature of the involved genes, and the tumor phenotypes. Genomic analyses of sporadic breast tumors and hereditary tumors will be presented. These studies highlight the variety of genomic alterations present in sporadic tumors and show the differences and similarities between sporadic and hereditary tumors. Clinical aspects of BRCA-mutation testing, patient management and disease prevention will be discussed.
Recent developments in tumor classification using genome-wide expression profiling on microarrays will be reviewed. Initial studies applying expression profiling to identify patients likely to benefit from particular therapeutic approaches will be discussed.
Footnotes
*Special topic report in the First Hangzhou International Symposium on the Medical and Laboratory Applications of Medical Genetics and Genomics held in Hangzhou, China, 2005
References
1. Jiang GC, Young F, Li M, Weissbecker K, Price S, Kim KC, Rice J, La Russa VF, Safah H, Ehrlich M. Imtinib (STI571) provides only limited selectivity for CML cells and treatment might be complicated by silent SCR/ABL genes. Cancer Biology & Therapy. 2003;2(1):166/1–166/7. [PubMed]
2. Kops GJ, Weaver BA, Cleveland DW. On the road to cancer: aneuploidy and the mitotic checkpoint. Nat Rev Cancer. 2005;5(10):773–785. doi: 10.1038/nrc1714. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
3. Pinkel D, Albertson DG. Array comparative genomic hybridization and its applications in cancer. Nat Genet. 2005;37(Suppl 6):S11–S17. doi: 10.1038/ng1569. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
Articles from Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B are provided here courtesy of
Zhejiang University Press