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The author reviews the evidence that cancer is essentially a genetic disease at the cellular level, and shows how a combination of classical and molecular genetic approaches are beginning to identify specific changes that take place during the process of cancer development. Each of these changes must provide an advantage for the outgrowth of the tumour, so that cancer development is essentially a process of Darwinian evolution at the somatic cellular level. An evolutionary approach to the cancer problem, as in so many other areas of biology, provides therefore valuable clues to understanding the process of tumour progression.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biology and Society

Publication Date

01/01/1986

Volume

3

Pages

108 - 117