Multistep carcinogenesis: a 1992 perspective

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Science  23 Oct 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5082, pp. 603-607
DOI: 10.1126/science.1411570


Cancer is the leading cause of death in Japan. Recent changes in cancer incidence patterns may reflect the trend toward a more Western diet and life-style. Among the dietary factors that contribute to carcinogenesis are the heterocyclic amines, a group of mutagenic compounds present in cooked meat and fish. Carcinogenesis is a multistep process in which cells accumulate multiple genetic alterations as they progress to a more malignant phenotype. Recognition of the growing number of interacting factors that contribute to carcinogenesis may force reconsideration of current methods of risk assessment.