Tumour Promotion: Biology and Molecular Mechanisms

  • A. W. Murray
  • A. M. Edwards
  • C. S. T. Hii
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 94 / 2)


A promoter can be operationally defined as a compound which enhances the tumour yield in an animal exposed to a low dose of a carcinogen. Promoters act at an early stage in the step-wise induction of malignant cancers, by favouring the cloncal expansion of initiated cells to benign lesions such as papillomas, nodules and polyps. Although mouse skin has been most extensively studied, a number of animal models have been developed in order to study promotion at several other organ sites (Slaga 1983). The restricted aim of this review is to discuss what is known about promotion by some specific agents in two organs (skin and liver) at both the biological and molecular levels. This summary will not be encyclopedic but will attempt to highlight the important unresolved issues. One characteristic of tumour promotion is that there is frequently tissue specificity associated with a particular promoter (see Table 1), and certainly promotion in skin and liver is achieved by different groups of compounds. Consequently, we believe it would also be useful to consider whether the same, different or overlapping mechanisms are involved.


Partial Hepatectomy Phorbol Ester Tumour Promotion Mouse Skin Baton Rouge 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Murray
  • A. M. Edwards
  • C. S. T. Hii

There are no affiliations available

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