Molecular Basis of Human Cancer

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During May 21-June 1 1990, the eleventh course of the International School of Pure and Applied Biostructure, a NATO Advanced Study Institute, was held at the Ettore Majorana Center for Scientific Culture in Erice, Italy, co-sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Italian National Research Council, the Sicilian Regional Government and Technobiochip. The subject of the course was Molecular Basis of Human Cancer with participants selected worldwide from 15 different countries. The purpose of the course was to address, in a tutorial and structural fashion, the molecular basis of human cancer, including the mechanism of signal transduction in mammalian cells, the genetic mechanism of malignant transformation in man, growth factors, hormone receptors, cell membrane and cytoskeleton, and DNA high order structure. The course had this as its major objective and the resulting book reflects it. The participants were exposed to a critical evaluation of current knowledge about cancer and to some of the key problems that remain as stumbling blocks to our eventual understanding of this important biological and medical problem. Through the media of formal and informal lectures, workshops, symposia and informal discussions, a select group of interested young and senior scientists were acquainted with many of the aspects of human cancer.