Document Detail

Causality in medicine: the case of tumours and viruses.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11205344     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Clarification of the aetiology of chronic human diseases such as atherosclerosis or cancer is one of the dominant topics in contemporary medical research. It is believed that identification of the causal factors will enable more efficient prevention and diagnosis of these diseases and, in some instances, also permit more effective therapy. The task is difficult because of the multistep and multifactorial origin of these diseases. A special case in contemporary aetiological studies is definition of the role of viruses in the pathogenesis of human cancer. Virus-associated cancer develops only in a small minority of infected subjects, which implies that, if the virus does play a role in the pathogenesis of the malignancy, other factors must also be involved. In this paper the author attempts to review the present methodological approaches to aetiological studies of chronic diseases, discusses the role of criteria for identifying causal relationships and proposes guidelines that might help to determine the role of viruses in human cancer.
V Vonka
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences     Volume:  355     ISSN:  0962-8436     ISO Abbreviation:  Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2000 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-01     Completed Date:  2001-04-19     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503623     Medline TA:  Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1831-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Experimental Virology, Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Prague, Czech Republic.
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MeSH Terms
Microbiology / trends
Models, Biological
Neoplasms / diagnosis,  etiology,  virology*
Research Design / trends

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