Many cancers are driven by the overexpression of oncogenes. These oncogenes are two-faced. On one hand, they promote processes that allow the cells to become immortal and to grow unchecked. On the other hand, the expression of these oncogenes creates additional anti-growth cellular stresses, conflicts that the cancer cell must subvert in order to survive. One classical example of an oncogene that creates such a delicate balance is c-myc. In patients, hyper-activation of c-myc is associated with the most aggressive cancer types, with 20-40 percent of all cancers having an activated myc gene.
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