Bert Vogelstein, M.D.
Molecular Genetics of Human Cancer:
It has long been hypothesized that genetic alterations are responsible for cancer. In the last decade, this hypothesis has been verified by the discovery of genes which, when mutated, directly contribute to tumor initiation and progression.Colorectal tumors provide a particularly good example of the relationship between such genes and a common human cancer. Studies in our laboratory have identified a series of genetic alterations which, in concert, convert a normal epithelial cell to a malignant one. These genetic alterations affect a specific subset of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.
Future experiments will address:
- The function of these genes in controlling cell growth and the way in which the mutations interfere with such functions.
- The development of new strategies for early diagnosis and treatment based on molecular genetic approaches.
- Kinzler, K.W., and Vogelstein, B. Lessons from hereditary colorectal cancer. Cell 87: 159-170, 1996.
- Vogelstein, B., Lane, D., and Levine, A.J. Surfing the p53 network. Nature 408: 307-310, 2000.
- Dang, L.H., Bettegowda, C., Huso, D.L., Kinzler, K.W. and Vogelstein, B. Combination bacteriolytic therapy for the treatment of experimental tumors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 98: 15155-15160, 2001.
- Traverso, G., Shuber, A., Levin, B., Johnson, C., Olsson, L., Schoetz, D.J., Hamilton, S.R., Boynton, K., Kinzler, K.W., and Vogelstein, B. Detection of APC Mutations in Fecal DNA from Patients with Colorectal Tumors. New England Journal of Medicine 346: 311-320, 2002.