© 2007

Molecular Biology of Human Cancers

An Advanced Student's Textbook


  • Provides an overview on the cancer research field

  • Interdisciplinary textbook that can serve as an introduction to facts, concepts and frontiers of research on the molecular biology of human cancer

  • Conceived as a book for postdoc or clinicians starting in cancer research, who will get an overview of the field


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Molecules, Mechanisms, And Cells

  3. Human Cancers

    1. Front Matter
    2. Pages 219-242
    3. Pages 255-270
    4. Pages 271-288
    5. Pages 289-306
    6. Pages 307-326
    7. Pages 327-340
    8. Pages 341-355

About this book


Over the last three decades, knowledge on the molecular biology of human cancers has vastly expanded. A host of genes and proteins involved in cancer development and progression have been defined and many mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and even tissue level have been, at least partly, elucidated. Insights have also been gained into the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis by chemical, physical, and biological agents and into inherited susceptibility to cancer.

Accordingly, Part I of the book presents many of the molecules and mechanisms generally important in human cancers. Following an overview on the cancer problem, individual chapters deal with cancer genetics and epigenetics, DNA damage and repair, oncogenes, tumor suppressors, regulatory pathways in cancer, apoptosis, cellular senescence, tumor invasion, and metastasis.

A consensus is emerging that while these common mechanisms and molecules are all relevant to human cancers, in each cancer type (or even subtype) a selection of them are extremely important. For selected cancers, the route from genetic and epigenetic changes to their biological and clinical behavior can already be traced. Part II of the book presents a broad, but exemplary selection of cancers that serve as paradigms to illustrate this point.

In fact, cancer research has now reached a critical stage, in which the accumulated knowledge on molecular mechanisms is gradually translated into improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The state, pitfalls, and potential of these efforts are summarized in Part III.

More than ever, cancer research is now an interdisciplinary effort which requires a basic knowledge of commonly used terms, facts, issues, and concepts. The aim of this book is to provide advanced students and practitioners of different disciplines with this basis, bridging the gap between standard textbooks of molecular biology, pathology, and oncology on the one hand and the specialized cancer literature on the other.


apoptosis carcinoma molecular, cancer, human cancers, biology, Cancer, Oncology, senescence tissue

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Heinrich Heine UniversityGermany

Bibliographic information

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From the reviews:

"Although Molecular Biology of Human Cancers is intended as a text for a graduate-level course, it is even more valuable for researchers like me, as a thoughtful encapsulation of the important areas of contemporary cancer research. … the book is well designed as a text. The prose is clear, the numerous diagrams and tables are helpful … . is unique in both coverage and perspective. Overall, I know of no other single source that provides a thoughtful view of more areas of molecular cancer research." (Joseph Locker, Angiogenesis, Vol. 7, 2004)

"This is a detailed and comprehensive review of the molecular aspects of cancer aetiology and development in man. It is aimed at advanced students and trainees in cancer-related disciplines and thus at a rather broad-spectrum audience. … Overall, this is an interesting and informative book, which would be helpful to students wishing to have some in-depth knowledge of cancer genetics, and an overview of general concepts in this field … ." (Shirley Hodgson, Human Genetics, Vol. 123, 2008)