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Dr. Charles Miller rellim at MAILHOST.TCS.TULANE.EDU
Mon Oct 28 10:45:17 EST 1996

Hi Michel,

> I have seen in the litterature that methods that are able to identify DNA
> damage may also be able to identify apoptosis. Also, I have noticed 
> that authors generally consider genotoxicity as an initial step
> towards carcinogenicity. The problem is that apoptosis seems to be the
> way nature counterbalances carcinogenesis. In general terms, cancer is the opposite of apoptosis!
> How would you then correlate apoptosis, carcinogenicity and genotoxicity?
> Michel. assad at JUSTINE.UMontreal.CA (Michel Assad)

There is a very nice web page that explains apotosis (and how it differs from 
necrosis, etc). There are some nice images at this site too. It can be found at 

Regarding your question, a brief answer is that apoptosis and carcinogenesis 
are inversely related (dead cells can't form tumors). Both processes can be 
initiated by genetic damage although apoptosis can have other causes, e.g. 
normal tissue differentiation. As an example: There is a positive correlation 
of p53 status (comparing p53 +/+, +/-, and -/- genotypes) in mice and tumor 
formation along with a reduced ability to undergo apoptosis.

Best of results,


Dr. Charles A. Miller, rellim at mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu
Bionet.toxicology discussion leader
Dept. Environmental Health Sciences, SL29
Room 374, Center for Bioenvironmental Research
Tulane Univ. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
1430 Tulane Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70112

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