Translocation means a change in location. It often refers to genetics, when part of a chromosome is transferred to another chromosome. Chromosomes are structures that carry genes, our units of heredity. When this type of translocation occurs, it can cause flaws in chromosomes.
In another type of translocation, two chromosomes trade pieces with each other.
Genetic translocations can cause serious disorders, including a type of leukemia.
Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Neoplasia. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, eds. Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 7.
Review Date: 11/4/2021
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.