Molecular Biology

  • Kathleen R. Cho
  • Lora Hedrick


Understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of human tumors has been a goal actively pursued by investigators in diverse fields including pathology, oncology, virology, radiation biology, and many others. These various avenues of research have provided significant insights into the properties of neoplastic cells and have laid the foundation for our current understanding and future investigations of human tumorigenesis. Most recently, the application of molecular biological techniques to cancer research has added a new dimension to our knowledge of the neoplastic process. These molecular tools have made it possible to address directly the mechanisms that lead to the altered properties of neoplastic cells. Over the past two decades molecular biology has confirmed many well-accepted hypotheses of tumorigenesis, revealed many new facts about tumor cells, and opened the door to a more thorough understanding of the pathogenesis of human cancer. It is now clear that molecular biology will not only greatly enhance our basic understanding of tumorigenesis, but will have a huge impact on the manner in which we diagnose and treat cancer patients. The aims of this chapter are threefold. First, we provide a brief discussion of basic molecular biological principals and techniques to build a framework with which to understand molecular studies of human tumorigenesis. Second, we review a molecular model of colorectal tumorigenesis that highlights the major concepts of our current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of human tumors. Third, we have compiled what is currently known about the specific genetic alterations associated with common gynecological malignancies. To assist the reader’s understanding of unfamiliar terms, a glossary appears at the end of the chapter. Terms within the text indicated in boldface are defined in the glossary.


Cervical Cancer Tumor Suppressor Gene Ovarian Carcinoma Endometrial Carcinoma Vulvar Cancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen R. Cho
  • Lora Hedrick

There are no affiliations available

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