- Conference date: 3−4 NOV 1987
- Location: SANIBEL ISLAND, FLORIDA (USA)
An increased incidence of highly malignant gliomas, termed glioblastoma multiforme has been observed in Rhesus monkeys irradiated with 55 MeV protons, and in humans treated with therapeutic irradiation to the head. The results suggest a radiation etiology for these tumors. In this paper, we review briefly some characteristics of glioma tumors, and summarize the genetic changes associated with malignant gliomas in experimental animals and in humans. The genetic abnormalities include cytogenetic alterations, and changes in the structure and expression of specific oncogenes. We discuss the potential for these genetic changes to contribute to several putative mechanism leading to aberrant growth stimulation and, ultimately, to tumorigenesis. In addition, we review briefly some recent data concerning the molecular nature of radiation‐induced somatic cell mutation and oncogene activation, and discuss the significance of these results for the radiation etiology of malignant gliomas. Finally, some implications of these results are discussed in relation to human radiation exposure in space.
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