Cancer: an emergent property of disturbed resource-rich environments? Ecology meets personalized medicine

Ducasse, Hugo, Arnal, Audrey, Vittecoq, Marion, Daoust, Simon P., Ujvari, Beata, Jacqueline, Camille, Tissot, Tazzio, Ewald, Paul, Gatenby, Robert A., King, Kayla C., Bonhomme, Francois, Brodeur, Jacques, Renaud, Francois, Solary, Eric, Roche, Benjamin and Thomas, Frederic 2015, Cancer: an emergent property of disturbed resource-rich environments? Ecology meets personalized medicine, Evolutionary applications, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 527-540, doi: 10.1111/eva.12232.

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Title Cancer: an emergent property of disturbed resource-rich environments? Ecology meets personalized medicine
Author(s) Ducasse, Hugo
Arnal, Audrey
Vittecoq, Marion
Daoust, Simon P.
Ujvari, BeataORCID iD for Ujvari, Beata
Jacqueline, Camille
Tissot, Tazzio
Ewald, Paul
Gatenby, Robert A.
King, Kayla C.
Bonhomme, Francois
Brodeur, Jacques
Renaud, Francois
Solary, Eric
Roche, Benjamin
Thomas, Frederic
Journal name Evolutionary applications
Volume number 8
Issue number 6
Start page 527
End page 540
Total pages 14
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2015-07
ISSN 1752-4571
Keyword(s) biomedicine
disease biology
evolutionary medicine
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Evolutionary Biology
Summary For an increasing number of biologists, cancer is viewed as a dynamic system governed by evolutionary and ecological principles. Throughout most of human history, cancer was an uncommon cause of death and it is generally accepted that common components of modern culture, including increased physiological stresses and caloric intake, favor cancer development. However, the precise mechanisms for this linkage are not well understood. Here, we examine the roles of ecological and physiological disturbances and resource availability on the emergence of cancer in multicellular organisms. We argue that proliferation of 'profiteering phenotypes' is often an emergent property of disturbed, resource-rich environments at all scales of biological organization. We review the evidence for this phenomenon, explore it within the context of malignancy, and discuss how this ecological framework may offer a theoretical background for novel strategies of cancer prevention. This work provides a compelling argument that the traditional separation between medicine and evolutionary ecology remains a fundamental limitation that needs to be overcome if complex processes, such as oncogenesis, are to be completely understood.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/eva.12232
Field of Research 060303 Biological Adaptation
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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