Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer).
Oncogenesis is the process through which healthy cells become transformed into cancer cells. It is characterized by a series of genetic and cellular changes, including oncogene activation, that lead the cell to divide in an uncontrolled manner.
Increasing evidence suggests that the gut microbiota are important modulators of chronic liver disease progression and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. In this Review, Yu and Schwabe discuss the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota promote hepatocarcinogenesis, and explore therapeutic interventions with clinical potential.
Aberrations in telomere biology occur in prostate cancer tumorigenesis and progression. Graham and Meeker review the role of shortened telomeres in prostate tumour pathogenesis, including genomic instability and mutations. They describe the clinical utility of assessment of telomere dysfunction and the therapeutic potential of treatments targeting telomerase and telomeres.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is thought to develop through the stepwise accumulation of cancer gene mutations. A new study suggests that 16% of PDACs exhibit genetic rearrangements that simultaneously altered two or more cancer driver genes. These findings challenge the current models of PDAC development, but arguably remain compatible with a stepwise tumour progression.
Two papers examine the influence of different stem cell characteristics on tumorigenesis in an organ-specific and age-associated manner, continuing the debate on the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on cancer risk.