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Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer

Dujon, Antoine M; Aktipis, Athena; Alix-Panabieres, Catherine; Amend, Sarah R; Boddy, Amy M; Brown, Joel S; Capp, Jean-Pascal; ... Ujvari, Beata; + view all (2021) Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer. Evolutionary Applications , 14 (4) pp. 877-892. 10.1111/eva.13190. Green open access

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/eva.13190
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13190
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: cancer therapy, contemporary evolution, evolutionary medicine, genetics, neoplasm, species interactions
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10160832
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