Bengt Westermark and our current understanding of tumor pathogenesis
The field of cancer research has advanced so far over the past four decades—the precise time-span of Bengt Westermark’s career—that it would be unrecognizable to those who last visited it in 1972. At that time, we knew that cancer cells grew uncontrollably and that a number of carcinogens were likely to be genotoxic mutagens, i.e. that among their other functions they worked to induce cancer through their ability to damage the genes within human tissues. That represented the entirety of our insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cancer formation.
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