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Flashcards in Pathology Deck (109)
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What is cancer?

Uncontrolled cell division that can invade other tissue and impede their function


What is a tumour?

Any swelling Can be benign or malignant


What is a neoplasm?

New growth not in response to any stimulus


Define malignant

Metastatic potential is present This involves any neoplasm invading the basement membrane


What is metastasis?

The spreading of a neoplasm to a different part of the body


Give three pre-malignant stages

  1. Dysplasia - disordered growth with no stimulus (no invasion of basement membrane)
  2. Metaplasia - change of one cell type to another
  3. Hyperplasia - increase in cell number


Metaplasia is a response to _____



What can initiate metaplasia?

  1. Injurious or noxious stimuli
  2. Cytokines and cell signals


Why are post-menopausal obese women at risk to hyperplasia (and cancer)?

Oestrogen will cause proliferation of the endometrium as part of the menstrual cycle. Cholesterol is similar in structure to oestrogen Obese women have high cholesterol which can cause proliferation in the endometrium Due to increased (an unnecessary) proliferations, these women have more "chances" for cells to begin to grown autonomously and for hyperplasia to occur


What occurs in dysplasia that does not occur in either metaplasia or hyperplasia?

A genetic abnormality is developed


What is carcinoma in-situ?

This is the final stage a neoplasm goes through before becoming malignant (invading basement membrane and spreading by metastases) This is the same as high-grade dysplasia


How is the N:C (nuclear:cytoplasmic) ratio affected in malignant cells affected?

N:C ratio is high


List some causes of cancer

  1. Genes
  2. Smoking
  3. Alcohol
  4. UV radiation, and other rdiation types
  5. Drugs
  6. Infections
  7. Obesity
  8. Burnt toast...supposedly Etc.


What are Weinberg Hallmarks?

These are "bad decisions" made by a cell that are key to becoming malignant.

  • Increased growth signals
  • Growth suppression removed
  • Avoiding apoptosis
  • Achieving immortality
  • Becoming invasive
  • Making own blood supply (angiogenesis)
  • Lose cellular DNA spellchecking


What is Li-Fraumeni syndrome?

Genetic condition affecting the tp53 gene which codes for p53. This means sufferers from LFS are unable to stop excessive growth and attempt DNA repairs (or activate apoptosis)


How does radiation cause cancer

Pyrimidine dimers are formed in DNA which are molecular lesions involving two consecutive bases on a single DNA strand to bind together ruining the normal base pairing Numerous instances can cause repair mechanisms to become overwhelmed


Describe briefly the cell cycle

  1. Cyclin D activated CDK4 (cyclin dependent kinase)
  2. CDK4 phosphorylates Rb (retinoblastoma)
  3. Rb now unbinds from DNA allowing for DNA replication to occur - access to DNA is now possible
  4. Synthesis phase now occurs involving DNA replication
  5. M phase follows after G2 and the cell divides
  6. Cytokinesis is when the cell physically divided


What are oncogenes?

A gene with the potential to cause cancer It involves increased growth


What are tumour supressors?

These are genes preventing the pathway to cancer


How can neoplastic cells evade DNA spellchecking?

Destroying spellcheck proteins such as P53


What happens to a tumour in the bloodstream?

It will aggregate with platelets This means it will eventually slow down and stop within a blood vessel and grow in this new location


Name 2 growth factors that can aid angiogenesis (for neoplasms)

  1. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)
  2. PDGF (platelet derived growth factor)


What are the three stages involved in the pathway of mutations and neoplasm development?

  1. Initiation - first mutation
  2. Promotion - accumulation of mutations (dysplasia)
  3. Persistance - malignant


FISH is better than PCR for _____ genetic abnormalities



PCR is ideal for _____ genetic abnormalites



What are the functions of p53? (4)

  1. Cell cycle arrest at G1
  2. Increase levels of p21 to inhibit CDKs preventing Rb phosphorylation and hence DNA replication
  3. Apoptosis activation when damage is too great
  4. Activate repair mechanisms when damage is minimal


What are first principles in relation to identifying neoplasms?

These are quick decisions that can make an estimate as to whether the neoplasm appears malignant or not


How do benign tumour look?

  1. round and smooth
  2. homogenous
  3. symmetrical
  4. Normal N:C ratio
  5. Slow growth


How do malignant tumours look?

  1. Not symmetrical
  2.  jagged edges
  3. heterogenous
  4. High N:C ratio
  5.  Fast growth


What is differentiation?

The process by which stem cells develop into mature cells types