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Evolution and cancer: A mathematical biology approach

Agur et al. 2010Edited by Professor Marek Kimmel

Cancer is, in some sense, a condensed-time laboratory of evolution. Dedifferentiated cells form colonies that survive in a hostile environment, and they evolve new metabolic circuits and aggression and resistance mechanisms. They also can muster cooperation of fibroblasts and lymphocytes, and attract blood vessels. Modeling of these phenomena, well underway, will also help understand basic mechanisms of life.

Taken together, the articles in this thematic series illustrate the substantial progress that occurred over the past decade. Qualitative and quantitative understanding of cancer is a necessary condition for engineering approaches to fight it. The latter are still scarce.

A sequel to this series was published in 2016.

  1. The transition from premalignant to invasive tumour growth is a prolonged multistep process governed by phenotypic adaptation to changing microenvironmental selection pressures. Cancer prevention strategies ar...

    Authors: Kieran Smallbone, Philip K Maini and Robert A Gatenby
    Citation: Biology Direct 2010 5:22
  2. The balance between self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells is expected to be tightly controlled in order to maintain tissue homeostasis throughout life, also in the face of environmental hazards. Theor...

    Authors: Zvia Agur, Yuri Kogan, Liora Levi, Hannah Harrison, Rebecca Lamb, Oleg U Kirnasovsky and Robert B Clarke
    Citation: Biology Direct 2010 5:20