City Research Online

Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer

Dujon, A. M., Aktipis, A., Alix‐Panabières, C., Amend, S. R., Boddy, A. M., Brown, J. S., Capp, J-P., DeGregori, J., Ewald, P., Gatenby, R., Gerlinger, M., Giraudeau, M., Hamede, R. R., Hansen, E., Kareva, I., Maley, C. C., Marusyk, A., McGranahan, N., Metzger, M. J., Nedelcu, A. M., Noble, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8057-4252, Nunney, L., Pienta, K. J., Polyak, K., Pujol, P., Read, A. F., Roche, B., Sebens, S., Solary, E., Staňková, K., Swain Ewald, H., Thomas, F. and Ujvari, B. (2020). Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer. Evolutionary Applications, doi: 10.1111/eva.13190

Abstract

The application of evolutionary and ecological principles to cancer prevention and treatment, as well as recognizing cancer as a selection force in nature, has gained impetus over the last 50 years. Following the initial theoretical approaches that combined knowledge from interdisciplinary fields, it became clear that using the eco‐evolutionary framework is of key importance to understand cancer. We are now at a pivotal point where accumulating evidence starts to steer the future directions of the discipline and allows us to underpin the key challenges that remain to be addressed. Here, we aim to assess current advancements in the field and to suggest future directions for research. First, we summarize cancer research areas that, so far, have assimilated ecological and evolutionary principles into their approaches and illustrate their key importance. Then, we assembled 33 experts and identified 84 key questions, organized around nine major themes, to pave the foundations for research to come. We highlight the urgent need for broadening the portfolio of research directions to stimulate novel approaches at the interface of oncology and ecological and evolutionary sciences. We conclude that progressive and efficient cross‐disciplinary collaborations that draw on the expertise of the fields of ecology, evolution and cancer are essential in order to efficiently address current and future questions about cancer.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Publisher Keywords: cancer therapy; contemporary evolution; evolutionary medicine; genetics; neoplasm; species interactions
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Mathematics
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 11:39
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25628
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