Stress, evolution and cancer

Interesting theory — stress speeds up evolution. Evolution of all possible cells. 

Full article: Does Stress Speed Up Evolution?

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Implication for cancer: the group of scientists from Princeton University admitted that

the current aggressive approach to cancer treatment has largely failed.

According to a molecular biologist Susan M. Rosenberg and colleagues like Robert H. Austin, a physicist at Princeton University, organisms have evolved mechanisms that enable them to drive their own evolution in times of stress. Environmental pressure can boost mutation rates rapidly, even in cells that are not dividing, enabling them to adapt more quickly to new conditions.

Organisms under stress have a higher mutation rate…

believe researchers.

…Austin says his experiments suggest that

putting too much stress on cancer cells by hitting them with high doses of cancer drugs could accelerate their evolution to develop drug resistance

Instead, he is culturing cancer cells on his death galaxy to find the right low-dosing and timing of cancer drugs that keep the cancer cells from spreading without killing them—hopefully delaying the evolution of resistance as long as possible.

At least in an ovarian cancer model in mice, the approach seems to work. In 2009, Robert Gatenby, a radiologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, and his colleagues reported that interrupting, or down-adjusting, therapy as long as the tumor volume didn’t increase prolonged survival in these mice compared with the standard aggressive regimen.

If you give them standard high-dose therapy, the tumor can almost completely go away and then come back very rapidly and be resistant,

Gatenby says.

If you use an adaptive approach, we can consistently get control of the tumor.

Gatenby is now testing the approach in a 40-patient open clinical trial in patients with late-stage prostate cancer….

https://pragmasynesi.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/stress-evolution-and-cancer/

http://nautil.us/issue/34/adaptation/does-stress-speed-up-evolution

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