Chapter 05: Discovering the Two-Hit Model Through Studying Retinoblastoma

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Chapter 05: Discovering the Two-Hit Model Through Studying Retinoblastoma

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R. Lee Clark's Influence: Dr. Knudson reflects on the environment of MD Anderson under R. Lee Clark's presidency, saying that "Lee didn't understand [the word] 'can't.'" Dr. Knudson explains that Clark asked him to write a review article for a journal, which forced him to think about what kind of gene is important in cancer. He notes that research on cancer was mostly done on adult cancer, but children's cancer is important for answering that question.

Overview of Two-Hit Model: Dr. Knudson then describes how he discovered the two-hit model. Muller published a paper claiming that several steps are necessary to make cancer. Though the literature after Muller's paper attempted to figure out those steps, Dr. Knudson wanted to know what the smallest number of events could be. He explains that his experience in pediatrics led him to look at retinoblastoma, a cancer with a hereditary form, to figure out the problem. Through statistical studies, Dr. Knudson concluded that the smallest number of events is two.

Identifier

KnudsonA_01_20130305_C05

Publication Date

3-5-2013

Publisher

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

Contributions; The Researcher; Overview; Understanding Cancer, the History of Science, Cancer Research; Definitions, Explanations, Translations; Influences from People and Life Experiences; Portraits; MD Anderson Culture

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Chapter 05: Discovering the Two-Hit Model Through Studying Retinoblastoma

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