Review Article: CarcinogenesisTheories of cancer originPaduch, RomanAuthor Information Department of Virology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland Correspondence to Roman Paduch, PhD, Department of Virology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19, 20-033 Lublin, Poland Tel: +48 81 537 59 44; fax: +48 81 537 59 59; e-mail: [email protected] Received December 17, 2013 Accepted February 28, 2014 European Journal of Cancer Prevention: January 2015 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 57-67 doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000024 Buy Metrics Abstract Throughout centuries, many theories have been proposed to explain the origin of cancer. In this review, some of them are presented and briefly commented upon. The theories discussed are divided into epigenetic and genetic ones, with the latter further classified into gene-based and genome-based hypotheses. Multistage cancer development leading to the mutator, malignant cell phenotype is also described. Finally, the current hot topic of cancer stem cells is presented. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.