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Cancer cell micronucleus: an update on clinical and diagnostic applications

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Micronucleus (MN) is the small nucleus that forms whenever a chromosome or its fragment is not incorporated into one of the daughter nuclei during cell division. Any form of genotoxic stress due to extraneous or internal factors leads to formation of a MN, which serves as an indicator of chromosomal instability. Chromosomal damage and formation of MN are believed to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of many malignancies. Studies have shown that MN assay can be used as a tool for risk prediction, screening, diagnosis, prognosis and as a treatment‐response indicator in cancers. With the advancements in technology, greater details are becoming available regarding the molecular events in carcinogenesis. The micronuclei (MNi) in the cancer cells are now being used as tools to understand the pathogenetics of the malignancies. However, despite large number of studies on MNi in lymphocytes or exfoliated cells of cancer patients, the data regarding a cancer cell MN remain scarce. This review article tries to unleash some of the mysteries related to the formation of MN inside the cancer cell. Also, it discusses the possible effects and the events post MN formation in the cancer cell.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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