Cancer is a disease whose progression is driven by a series of accumulating genetic and epigenetic changes influenced by hereditary factors and the somatic environment. These changes result in individual cells acquiring a phenotype that provides those cells with a survival advantage over surrounding normal cells. Our understanding of the processes that occur in malignant transformation is increasing, with many discoveries in cancer cell biology having been made through the study of childhood tumors. The processes involved in oncogenesis and cancer progression will be discussed in this review.
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