G.I. Evan, A.H. Wyllie, C.S. Gilbert, et al., "Induction of apoptosis in fibroblasts by c-myc protein," Cell, 63:119-25, 1992.

Gerard Evan (Biochemistry of the Cell Nucleus Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London): "Although cancer is a common disease, the cancer cell is extremely rare. We know this because it takes only one fully malignant cell (and its progeny) to form a lethal tumor, yet cancer afflicts only one in three individuals during the entire course of their lives. This is even more surprising when one considers that an organism like man comprises billions of cells, many of which continuously proliferate throughout adult life. In principle, any cell that spontaneously acquires a growth advantage should automatically outgrow its siblings, spread, invade, and become a tumor. The fact that this happens so rarely is, therefore, one of the great mysteries of human biology.

"Proto-oncogenes are normal cellular genes that encode components of...

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