Tumourigenesis is a complex and step-wise process that is caused by accumulation of genetic and epigenetic lesions, the composition of which varies both between different tissue types and also between different individuals displaying phenotypically the same type of malignancy at a similar progression stage. Concurrently with these genomic and environmental inputs, cellular biochemical networks that regulate e.g. organ development and regeneration are specifically disturbed. At the cellular level the lesions affect pathways that control tissue patterning and other cell-to-cell interactions, cell polarity and proliferation, genomic integrity and apoptosis, all driving cancer development and its spread when disturbed.
Last updated: 12.6.2012