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Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer


Dujon, AM and Aktipis, A and Alix-Panabieres, C and Amend, SR and Boddy, AM and Brown, JS and Capp, JP and DeGregori, J and Ewald, P and Gatenby, R and Gerlinger, M and Giraudeau, M and Hamede Ross, RK and Hansen, E and Kareva, I and Maley, CC and Marusyk, A and McGranahan, N and Metzger, MJ and Nedelcu, AM and Noble, R and Nunney, L and Pienta, KJ and Polyak, K and Pujol, P and Read, AF and Roche, B and Sebens, S and Solary, E and Stankova, K and Swain Ewald, H and Thomas, F and Ujvari, B, Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer, Evolutionary Applications, 14, (4) pp. 877-892. ISSN 1752-4563 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/eva.13190


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Evolutionary ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Hamede Ross, RK (Dr Rodrigo Hamede Ross)
ID Code:152031
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2022-08-10
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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