Medical Definition of Genotoxin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Genotoxin: A poisonous substance which damages DNA. A genotoxin can cause mutations in DNA (and so be a mutagen), it can trigger cancer (and so be a carcinogen), or it can cause a birth defect (and so be a teratogen).

From geno- (genetic) + toxin (poison) = a genetic poison.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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