Cancer as a Microevolutionary Process

Organisers: Gerard Evan, Douglas Green and Karen Vousden

Date: 6th - 9th March 2011

Location: Wilton Park, Steyning, West Sussex, UK

It is not so much the inherent mechanistic diversity of cancers that makes them difficult to treat so much as the fact that they are evolving targets. Although they may be initially derived from a clonal progenitor, by the time they are macroscopic tumors comprise heterogeneous cell populations that are divergent both genetically and in acquired status (e.g. signaling, location, history). Unfortunately, most approaches to understanding cancers effectively treat a tumor as a unitary object possessed of a fixed, immutable and uniform set of responses. This workshop aimed to address the process of carcinogenesis using an evolutionary lens: it discussed what innate (e.g. tissue constraints, tumor suppressors and stress responses) and extrinsic (e.g. therapies) selective pressures shape tumor evolution /in vivo/, how this varies between tumor types, and what insights such a view offer us with respect to cancer biology.


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Published Information from the Workshop

Three Model for Life interviews were conducted and all published in Disease Models & Mechanisms;

Each one consists of a condensed and adapted version of the transcribed interview plus audio excerpts included in the DMM podcast.


Cancer as a Microevolutionary Process

6th – 9th March 2011

Wiston House, Steyning, West Sussex, UK

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