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Author DeGregori, James, author

Title Adaptive oncogenesis : a new understanding of how cancer evolves inside us / James DeGregori
Published Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2018


Description 1 online resource
Contents The evolution of lifespans and disease avoidance -- Understanding evolution at organismal and somatic levels -- The evolution of multicellularity and tumor suppression -- Mechanisms of tumor suppression -- Dominant views on the mechanisms of oncogenesis -- Adaptive oncogenesis -- Limiting somatic evolution in youth -- Changing adaptive landscapes in aging tissues -- Changing adaptive landscapes with carcinogenic exposures -- Tissue architecture and tumor suppression -- Peto's paradox -- Prolonging tissue maintenance to delay aging and cancer -- Understanding clinical data from an evolutionary perspective -- The causes of cancer in early childhood -- Evolution-informed strategies to combat cancer -- A new framework for understanding and controlling cancer
Summary "Popular understanding holds that genetic changes create cancer. James DeGregori uses evolutionary principles to propose a new way of thinking about cancer's occurrence. Cancer is as much a disease of evolution as it is of mutation, one in which mutated cells outcompete healthy cells in the ecosystem of the body's tissues. His theory ties cancer's progression, or lack thereof, to evolved strategies to maximize reproductive success. Through natural selection, humans evolved genetic programs to maintain bodily health for as long as necessary to increase the odds of passing on our genes--but not much longer. These mechanisms engender a tissue environment that favors normal stem cells over precancerous ones. Healthy tissues thwart cancer cells' ability to outcompete their precancerous rivals. But as our tissues age or accumulate damage from exposures such as smoking, normal stem cells find themselves less optimized to their ecosystem. Cancer-causing mutations can now help cells adapt to these altered tissue environments, and thus outcompete normal cells. Just as changes in a species' habitat favor the evolution of new species, changes in tissue environments favor the growth of cancerous cells. DeGregori's perspective goes far in explaining who gets cancer, when it appears, and why. While we cannot avoid mutations, it may be possible to sustain our tissues' natural and effective system of defense, even in the face of aging or harmful exposures. For those interested in learning how cancers arise within the human body, the insights in Cancer: Evolution Within Us offer a compelling perspective"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Carcinogenesis.
Cells -- Evolution.
Cancer -- Etiology.
Cancer -- Genetic aspects.
Neoplasms -- etiology
Neoplastic Processes
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
HEALTH & FITNESS -- Diseases -- General.
MEDICAL -- Clinical Medicine.
MEDICAL -- Diseases.
MEDICAL -- Evidence-Based Medicine.
MEDICAL -- Internal Medicine.
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Evolution
Cancer -- Etiology
Cancer -- Genetic aspects
Cells -- Evolution
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780674985964