INSIGHT INTO CANCER
Cancer is an umbrella term covering a plethora of conditions characterized by unscheduled and uncontrolled cellular proliferation. As the average age in many countries steadily rises, so too do cancer-related deaths, so that cancer will be one of the most common causes of death in the 21st century. Almost any mammalian organ and cell type can succumb to oncogenic transformation, giving rise to a bewildering array of clinical outcomes.
The causes of cancer are many and varied, as reflected by the review articles in this month's Nature Insight supplement (Nature, Vol. 411, No. 6835, 17 May 2001). They include genetic predisposition, environmental influences, infectious agents and ageing. These transform normal cells into cancerous ones by derailing a wide range of molecular signalling pathways. It is just this complexity that has hampered the development of effective and specific cancer therapies.
The Insight focuses on topics undergoing particularly rapid progress, and aims to provide a balanced picture of the diverse disciplines associated with cancer research.
Cancer genetics - B A J Ponder
Proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis in cancer - G I Evan & K H Vousden
The Hedgehog and Wnt signalling pathways in cancer - J Taipale & P A Beachy
Oncogenic kinase signalling - P Blume-Jensen & T Hunter
Genome maintenance mechanisms for preventing cancer - J H J Hoeijmakers
The microenvironment of the tumour-host interface - L A Liotta & E C Kohn
Progress in human tumour immunology and immunotherapy - S A Rosenberg
Haematopoietic cell transplantation as immunotherapy - F R Appelbaum
Cancer epidemiology in the last century and the next decade - J Peto
(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza