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Transmissible cancers in an evolutionary context.

Ujvari, Beata, Papenfuss, Anthony T and Belov, Katherine 2016, Transmissible cancers in an evolutionary context., Bioessays, vol. 38, no. Supp 1, pp. S14-S23, doi: 10.1002/bies.201670904.

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Title Transmissible cancers in an evolutionary context.
Author(s) Ujvari, BeataORCID iD for Ujvari, Beata
Papenfuss, Anthony T
Belov, Katherine
Journal name Bioessays
Volume number 38
Issue number Supp 1
Start page S14
End page S23
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Hoboken, N. J.
Publication date 2016-07
ISSN 1521-1878
Keyword(s) Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease
cancer evolution
canine transmissible venereal tumour
clam leukaemia
Summary Cancer is an evolutionary and ecological process in which complex interactions between tumour cells and their environment share many similarities with organismal evolution. Tumour cells with highest adaptive potential have a selective advantage over less fit cells. Naturally occurring transmissible cancers provide an ideal model system for investigating the evolutionary arms race between cancer cells and their surrounding micro-environment and macro-environment. However, the evolutionary landscapes in which contagious cancers reside have not been subjected to comprehensive investigation. Here, we provide a multifocal analysis of transmissible tumour progression and discuss the selection forces that shape it. We demonstrate that transmissible cancers adapt to both their micro-environment and macro-environment, and evolutionary theories applied to organisms are also relevant to these unique diseases. The three naturally occurring transmissible cancers, canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) and Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) and the recently discovered clam leukaemia, exhibit different evolutionary phases: (i) CTVT, the oldest naturally occurring cell line is remarkably stable; (ii) DFTD exhibits the signs of stepwise cancer evolution; and (iii) clam leukaemia shows genetic instability. While all three contagious cancers carry the signature of ongoing and fairly recent adaptations to selective forces, CTVT appears to have reached an evolutionary stalemate with its host, while DFTD and the clam leukaemia appear to be still at a more dynamic phase of their evolution. Parallel investigation of contagious cancer genomes and transcriptomes and of their micro-environment and macro-environment could shed light on the selective forces shaping tumour development at different time points: during the progressive phase and at the endpoint. A greater understanding of transmissible cancers from an evolutionary ecology perspective will provide novel avenues for the prevention and treatment of both contagious and non-communicable cancers.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/bies.201670904
Field of Research 111201 Cancer Cell Biology
060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Wiley
Free to Read? Yes
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact