Tumorigenesis: it takes a village

Nat Rev Cancer. 2015 Aug;15(8):473-83. doi: 10.1038/nrc3971. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Although it is widely accepted that most cancers exhibit some degree of intratumour heterogeneity, we are far from understanding the dynamics that operate among subpopulations within tumours. There is growing evidence that cancer cells behave as communities, and increasing attention is now being directed towards the cooperative behaviour of subclones that can influence disease progression. As expected, these interactions can add a greater layer of complexity to therapeutic interventions in heterogeneous tumours, often leading to a poor prognosis. In this Review, we highlight studies that demonstrate such interactions in cancer and postulate ways to overcome them with better-designed therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy