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The interface between ecology, evolution, and cancer: More than ever a relevant research direction for both oncologists and ecologists


Thomas, F and Roche, B and Giraudeau, M and Hamede, R and Ujvari, B, The interface between ecology, evolution, and cancer: More than ever a relevant research direction for both oncologists and ecologists, Evolutionary Applications, 13, (7) pp. 1545-1549. ISSN 1752-4563 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/eva.13031


Forty years ago, scientists started to describe the genetic cascade of events leading to cancer as "somatic evolution" (Cairns, 1975; Nowell, 1976). Even if the full relevance of these pioneer papers was not immediately perceived by the scientific community, they paved the way for one of the most stimulating and challenging research directions in the effort to predict cancer emergence, progression, and therapy outcomes. Evolutionary biology has indeed deeply transformed our understanding of cancer, gaining unprecedented international recognition among oncologists in the last decade (Ujvari, Roche & Thomas, 2017a). Nowadays, cancer is widely considered as a pathology that emerges due to clonal evolution and cell competition, Darwinian selection being the driver of cancer cells along selective landscapes, culminating in resistance to immune attack, malignant progression, resistance to therapies, metastasis, and even sometimes contagion between individuals and/or species (Ujvari et al., 2017b; Ujvari, Roche & Thomas,2017a). Thus, as recently proposed by Mel Greaves through paraphrasing Dobzhansky's famous dictum, "nothing in cancer makes sense except in the light of evolution" (Greaves, 2018). This interdisciplinary field of research remains at the moment extremely promising, but it is still in its infancy, and fundamental studies (both theoretical and experimental) are still needed to pursue our understanding of the evolutionary ecology of tumors and of host-tumor interactions. By assembling some of the latest, most exciting results, syntheses, and perspectives relating to the topic Ecology, Evolution and Cancer, our objective with this special issue is to reinforce the construction of a solid base for a balanced approach to cancer research, for oncologists and for ecologists.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cancer; conservation biology; evolutionary medicine; evolutionary theory; oncology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
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, R (Dr Rodrigo Hamede Ross)
UTAS Author:Ujvari, B (Dr Beata Ujvari)
ID Code:152873
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2022-08-25
Last Modified:2022-10-18
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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