The multistep nature of cancer

Trends Genet. 1993 Apr;9(4):138-41. doi: 10.1016/0168-9525(93)90209-z.


Cancer is a distinct type of genetic disease in which not one, but several, mutations are required. Each mutation drives a wave of cellular multiplication associated with gradual increases in tumor size, disorganization and malignancy. Three to six such mutations appear to be required to complete this process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oncogenes