July 4, 1986

Genetics in Clinical Oncology

Author Affiliations

East Carolina University School of Medicine Greenville, NC


by R. S. K. Chaganti and James German, 280 pp, with illus, $37.50, New York, Oxford University Press, 1985.

JAMA. 1986;256(1):105-106. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380010111040

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This book had its origins in courses given at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, in 1980 and 1982. It is divided into two sections, with slightly more than half of the book devoted to the fundamental aspects of neoplasia and the inheritable factors that increase susceptibility to the disease. The latter part of the book concerns the applications of that basic knowledge to clinical aspects of oncology. The volume assumes that the reader has some degree of familiarity with basic genetic principles, oncology, cytogenetics, and the influence of environmental agents in the manifestation of certain neoplastic syndromes. The basic premise, to paraphrase Dr German, is that cancer cells are members of clones of somatic cells that have undergone one or several mutations. However, factors inherited from generation to generation influence the likelihood of such somatic mutations transforming into neoplasia. The varied elements that enter into the mechanism of cancer