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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 761909, 10 pages
Review Article

Genetic Aspects of Gastric Cancer Instability

Medical Centre for Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Vrazov trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 1 November 2011; Accepted 30 November 2011

Academic Editor: Abbes Belkhiri

Copyright © 2012 Petra Hudler. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Unravelling the molecular mechanisms underlying gastric carcinogenesis is one of the major challenges in cancer genomics. Gastric cancer is a very complex and heterogeneous disease, and although much has been learned about the different genetic changes that eventually lead to its development, the detailed mechanisms still remain unclear. Malignant transformation of gastric cells is the consequence of a multistep process involving different genetic and epigenetic changes in numerous genes in combination with host genetic background and environmental factors. The majority of gastric adenocarcinomas are characterized by genetic instability, either microsatellite instability (MSI) or chromosomal instability (CIN). It is believed that chromosome destabilizations occur early in tumour progression. This paper summarizes the most common genetic alterations leading to instability in sporadic gastric cancers and its consequences.