[ RadSafe ] Two interesting papers on DNA repair mechanisms

Clayton J Bradt CJB01 at health.state.ny.us
Fri Jul 2 12:44:13 CDT 2010

I'll be eager to read these papers hopefully over the holiday weekend. 
(That's the 4th of July for you non-US citizens on the list.) 
What still puzzles me about the entire subject is the contradiction 
between these two presumed facts: 
1) Cancers caused by radiation are indistinguishable from non-radiogenic 
cancers.  2) Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer.

The first statement can't be true, because cervical cancer cells caused by 
HPV have virus genes spliced into their DNA. These virus genes  function 
in specific ways to overcome some of the cells' control mechanisms and 
allow for uncontrolled proliferation. It is hard to believe that random 
radiogenic DNA damage and misrepair (no matter what the mechanisms) could 
duplicate these exact same virus genes in affected cells. So either 
radiation can't cause cervical cancer, or it causes a different kind of 
cervical cancer than HPV infection and there is a genetic marker that can 
distinguish the two. 

How many other cancers are the result of the incorporation viral genetic 
material?  Are the mutations that result in oncogenesis ever the result of 
random damage and/or misrepair?

Clayton J. Bradt
Principal Radiophysicist
Laboratory for Inorganic & Nuclear Chemistry
NYS Dept. of Health
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