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  1. Malcolm R Alison

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001471



How to Cite

Alison, M. R. 2001. Cancer. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


Cancer is a potentially fatal disease caused mainly by environmental factors that mutate genes encoding critical cell-regulatory proteins. The resultant aberrant cell behaviour leads to expansive masses of abnormal cells that destroy surrounding normal tissue and can spread to vital organs resulting in disseminated disease, commonly a harbinger of imminent patient death.


  • carcinoma;
  • sarcoma;
  • leukaemia;
  • lymphoma;
  • oncogenes;
  • tumour suppressor genes;
  • telomerase;
  • apoptosis;
  • metastasis