n South African Journal of Surgery - A response to "Concepts in malignant transformation" - a pathologists perspective : response

Volume 53, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



The publication by Brendan Bebington entitled "Concepts in malignant transformation" was a thought provoking article. The article theorises that the process of aging, as a consequence of programmed cellular events, will result in death, which is essential for survival of the population. The theory then expands to suggest that eukaryotic cells have retained an epigenetic ability to enable demise of the organism via cell-determined origin for events like aging and malignant transformation. The author suggests that "cancer may be a de-suppression of an ancient epigenetic instruction" and "malignancy has become an evolutionary advantage, even though it may be disadvantageous to the individual".

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