On the meaning of fragile sites in cancer risk and development

Fiorella Shabtai, Dvora Klar, Jacob Hart, Isaac Halbrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last few years, there has been increasing concern about the possible involvement of fragile sites in cancer risk and development. Patients with malignancies and family histories of cancer who presented with constitutional fragile sites are reported here. These findings are discussed with regard to the familial risk for cancer and the tissue specificity of the malignancy in relation to the different fragile sites. The hypothesis is advanced that these may be sites of viral DNA modification, probably representing areas where genes that are important for the metabolism of the virus are located. On the other hand, these genes may well be cellular (proto)oncogenes. We believe that fragile sites may increase the risk for cancer, not by being break-prone points at oncogene locations, but through more complex mechanisms that are not easy to predict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Genetics and Cytogenetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1985


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