Colorectal cancer and the rare variant hypothesis

Published on October 1, 2007 Updated on May 15, 2020   53 min

Other Talks in the Category: Cancer

0:00
This talk is about "Colorectal Cancer and the Rare Variant Hypothesis". I'll start by explaining the general nature of cancer, its multistep process. The genetic changes, the fact that it's a somatic evolutionary process. Examples of some changes. And I'll also be discussing inherited susceptibilities to colorectal cancer. And then I'll proceed with saying something about multifactorial inheritance and how one can approach the problems of investigating multifactorial inheritance to colorectal cancer and how this can be used for other types of multifactorial inherited susceptibility investigations.
0:42
The incidence of colorectal cancer increases sharply with age, and this is a characteristic indeed of nearly all cancers both in humans and animals. And it's best explained by the fact that cancers are multistage processes and we now understand that those multistages, the different steps that lead to a cancer are in fact genetic changes and changes in gene expression one after another, occurring until you get the disease that we call cancer.
1:17
Cancer is therefore a form of somatic evolution, it's a clonal evolution. The first mutation gives an advantage to a cell with respect to potentially producing a cancer and then within the clone produced by that another mutation arises and so on. Each subsequent mutation giving a further advantage to the outcome of the cancer. And in each case the new mutation has to occur in a clone that carries all the previous mutations. There's no possibility of any sexual exchange between the different cells that might have different numbers of mutations. And our challenge in understanding cancer is to find what those changes are. To find out about their functions and so why they're selected for and then to use this information in dealing with cancer as a disease.
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Colorectal cancer and the rare variant hypothesis

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