Cancer genetics using lung cancer as a model

Frederic J. Kaye, M.D.
Professor Emeritus, UF Department of Medicine
Courtesy Faculty UF Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Cancers arise by accidental DNA alterations within a single cell.  Most accidental mutations occur randomly and have no effect on health and are called “passenger” events. However, when a gene alteration arises in the wrong location within the wrong gene it can promote development of unregulated cell growth that leads to cancer.  Lung cancer is a paradigm for demonstrating that a detailed understanding of the molecular basis for disease can transform a tumor subtype from treatment nihilism to a growing and hopeful array of new treatment opportunities.  However, despite these remarkable advances over the past 4 decades, our treatments are still not good enough and more needs to be done.  In this lecture we will discuss general topics in the molecular basis for cancer focusing on a few historical and current topics regarding the molecular genetics and treatment of lung cancer.   

Frederic Kaye in a professor emeritus in the UF division of hematology oncology and has studied the molecular genetics of lung cancer since the 1980s. 

Core Standards

Describe the histology of the respiratory system.

Describe the physiology of the respiratory system including the mechanisms of ventilation, gas exchange, gas transport and the mechanisms that control the rate of ventilation.

Explain the basic processes of transcription and translation, and how they result in the expression of genes.

Explain how mutations in the DNA sequence may or may not result in phenotypic change. Explain how mutations in gametes may result in phenotypic changes in offspring.

Explain the relationship between mutation, cell cycle, and uncontrolled cell growth potentially resulting in cancer.

Evaluate the impact of biotechnology on the individual, society and the environment, including medical and ethical issues.

Define a problem based on a specific body of knowledge, for example: biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/space science, and do the following: Pose questions about the natural world, (Articulate the purpose of the investigation and identify the relevant scientific concepts), Conduct systematic observations,  Examine books and other sources of information to see what is already known, Communicate results of scientific investigations, and Evaluate the merits of the explanations produced by others.

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