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Review
, 6 (12), 924-35

Cancer as an Evolutionary and Ecological Process

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Review

Cancer as an Evolutionary and Ecological Process

Lauren M F Merlo et al. Nat Rev Cancer.

Abstract

Neoplasms are microcosms of evolution. Within a neoplasm, a mosaic of mutant cells compete for space and resources, evade predation by the immune system and can even cooperate to disperse and colonize new organs. The evolution of neoplastic cells explains both why we get cancer and why it has been so difficult to cure. The tools of evolutionary biology and ecology are providing new insights into neoplastic progression and the clinical control of cancer.

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