Contributions of cytogenetics to cancer research


  • Robson José de Oliveira-Junior Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Luiz Ricardo Goulart Filho Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Luciana Machado Bastos Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Dhiego de Deus Alves Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Sabrina Vaz dos Santos e Silva Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Sandra Morelli Universidade Federal de Uberlândia


The two conflicting visions of tumorigenesis that are widely discussed are the gene-mutation hypothesis and the aneuploidy hypothesis. In this review we will summarize the contributions of cytogenetics in the study of cancer cells and propose a hypothetical model to explain the influence of cytogenetic events in carcinogenesis, emphasizing the role of aneuploidy. The gene mutation hypothesis states that gene-specific mutations occur and that they maintain the altered phenotype of the tumor cells, and the aneuploidy hypothesis states that aneuploidy is necessary and sufficient for the initiation and progression of malignant transformation. Aneuploidy is a hallmark of cancer and plays an important role in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Aneuploid cells might be derived from polyploid cells, which can arise spontaneously or are induced by environmental agents or chemical compounds, and the genetic instability observed in polyploid cells leads to chromosomal losses or rearrangements, resulting in variable aberrant karyotypes. Because of the large amount of evidence indicating that the correct chromosomal balance is crucial to cancer development, cytogenetic techniques are important tools for both basic research, such as elucidating carcinogenesis, and applied research, such as diagnosis, prognosis and selection of treatment. The combination of classic cytogenetics, molecular cytogenetics and molecular genetics is essential and can generate a vast amount of data, enhancing our knowledge of cancer biology and improving treatment of this disease.


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How to Cite

OLIVEIRA-JUNIOR, R.J. de, GOULART FILHO, L.R., BASTOS, L.M., ALVES, D. de D., SANTOS E SILVA, S.V. dos and MORELLI, S., 2014. Contributions of cytogenetics to cancer research . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 245–259. [Accessed23 February 2024]. Available from:



Biological Sciences