• The past three decades have witnessed enormous progress made in our understanding of the pathogenesis of cancer. Research results of the previous decades had indicated that a variety of agents, the carcinogens, could induce cancer in experimental animals. By extension, similarly acting agents were presumed to intervene in human cancer. Beyond this, the precise nature of the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying human malignancies remained obscure. In these last decades, the origins of cancer have been uncovered: specific genes and biochemical mechanisms are now known to drive the process of neoplasia.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:257-260)