Title of Project

The “Silent Killer” and its Accomplices in Lung Cancer

Researcher Information

Abigail A. Williams

Project Type

Event

Location

Alvin Sherman Library 4009

Start Date

2-4-2004 12:00 AM

End Date

2-4-2004 12:00 AM

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Apr 2nd, 12:00 AM Apr 2nd, 12:00 AM

The “Silent Killer” and its Accomplices in Lung Cancer

Alvin Sherman Library 4009

The purpose of this literature review project is to examine some of the causes and molecular mechanisms associated with cancer, particularly lung cancer. Cancer, better known as “the silent killer”, occurs when the growth and differentiation of cells becomes uninhibited and unbalanced. While no two cancers are genetically identical even in the same tissue type, there are relatively few ways in which normal cell growth can be disturbed. One of the most common ways that cancer occurs is by the alteration of a gene, which ultimately stimulates hyperactive cell growth. This altered gene is known as an oncogene. The Ras and p53 genes are two such oncogenes that play a detrimental role in lung cancer due to their ability to control cell growth and response. Lung cancer can occur from a variety of causes ranging from internal factors (such as inherited genes) to external factors (such as the inhalation of chemicals). Investigations into lung cancer have shown a relationship between the amount of cigarettes smoked daily and the subsequent risk of lung cancer. One experiment to test this hypothesis has shown the formation of malignant tumors in the respiratory tract of experimental animals that were exposed to cigarette smoke. Basic research into the function of various genes and carcinogenic factors are underway in order to find new drugs and appropriate therapies for the treatment of lung cancer.