Key words: Oncogenes, Metastasis, B-catenin, nm-23, MTA1, CD44
Abstract: Neoplastic disease follows the acquisition of mutations within genes, a process that may span many years. When these mutations occur in proto-oncogenes that normally encode for proteins which control the cell cycle, DNA repair and transcriptional events, the result is deregulation of cellular proliferation and other intracellular pathways, ultimately leading to tumour development.
The metastatic spread of tumours is the single, most important factor that affects cancer patient mortality rate; gradually, new oncogenes are being implicated in playing a role as promotors of metastatic events rather than initial oncogenesis itself. Such genes may become potential targets for anti-metastatic therapies in the future. The aim of this chapter is thus to present a brief overview of some of the major oncogenic regulators of tumour development and spread.
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