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somatic mutation theory of cancer

n.
  1. The theory that cancer is caused by a mutation or mutations in the body cells, rather than germ cells, especially by nonlethal mutations associated with increased proliferation of the mutant cells.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.