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July 1995

Activated ras Genes Occur in Human Actinic Keratoses, Premalignant Precursors to Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(7):796-800. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690190048009

Background/Design:  The clonal theory of cancer predicts that transformed cells within a given tumor are derived from a single initiated precursor. Advancement of this precursor through various stages of tumor development occurs with the further accumulation of selective genetic and epigenetic lesions. Mammalian ras genes are important constituents of mitogenic signaling pathways, and when activated, they contribute to deregulated cellular growth. Activated ras genes play important roles in the development of certain skin tumors. Studies on a number of animal tumor model systems have shown that ras gene activation can be an early and perhaps initial event in the development of skin tumors. Activated ras genes are also found in a significant percentage of somatic human squamous cell carcinomas. To gain retrospective insight into the stages at which activated ras genes contribute to squamous cell carcinoma development, we investigated their incidence in actinic keratoses, premalignant precursors to squamous cell carci

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