Evolutionary principles used to model cancer mutations, discover potential therapeutic targets

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are taking a unique approach to understanding and investigating cancer by utilizing evolutionary principles and computational modeling to examine the role of specific genetic mutations in the Darwinian struggle among tumor and normal cells during cancer growth.

Cells become malignant by acquiring genetic mutations that lead to increased survival and reproduction. Many researchers in the past have viewed cancer progression as the result of unlimited accumulation of these genetic mutations. However, Moffitt researchers model cancer progression on the premise that cancer cells live in an environment that has limited resources, such as space and nutrients and, like all living organisms, must obey the laws of evolution. These laws include trade-offs between proliferation and survival.

For example, elephants use their available resources primarily to maximize survival so that they have relatively long lives and few offspring. Rabbits, on the other hand, produce many offspring but survive in the wild for less than two years. Similarly, cells that evolve to form cancers can do so by either increasing longevity or increasing the number of offspring. But like elephants and rabbits, they can only move down one evolutionary path at a time, so the mutations observed in cancer cells are limited to this evolutionary trade-off. With this in mind, cancer cells can invest available resources in maximizing their defenses against attacks by the normal tissue or accept a high rate of mortality and overcome it through very rapid proliferation. The cells cannot do both.

Moffitt researchers performed computer simulations based on these concepts. They found that the frequency with which any genetic mutation is observed depends on its ability to increase the cell’s fitness, its ability to survive and reproduce. The researched called this process “evolutionary triage.”

“Genes that increase fitness are observed more frequently than those that do not,” explained Robert A. Gatenby, M.D., chair of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and co-director of the Cancer Biology and Evolution Program at Moffitt. “However, the effect of any mutation on cell fitness can change drastically depending on environmental factors such as blood flow, past genetic mutations, and the properties of competing cells. Currently, cancer biologists divide mutations into ‘drivers,’ which promote tumor growth and ‘passengers,’ which have no effect on growth. In the computer simulations, it was clear that many mutations could be drivers in one environment, but passengers in another.”

Since driver mutations are common targets for cancer therapy, the scientists also simulated therapies that seek to disable driver genes. Similar to what is found in clinical settings, they observed that targeted therapies can kill the mutated cells and decrease the tumor size. However, the diversity of tumor environments produces many mutational pathways to formation of a malignant cell. As result, cancer cells that lack the driver mutation and are resistant to therapy were almost invariably present and caused the tumor to recur.

The investigators were startled to

… Continue reading here.
Fitness News — Sciencedaily
— Courtesy “Science News Daily” (ScienceNewsDaily.com)

Get fit w/ me! See my workouts & more http://bit.ly/SarahFitYT Looking for an ab workout using an exercise ball in under 10 minutes? Try this routine and let…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

[wpramazon asin=”B00CKIMTXQ”]

Leah Sarago – Ballet Body: Lower Body Workout DVD

Lose inches while building lean muscles with movements inspired by ballet, dance, Pilates, and yoga. Ballet Body by Leah Sarago integrates traditional body-weight resistance exercises with muscle-elongating techniques to achieve a long and lean physique. Suitable for all fitness levels, these workouts draw on isometrics, the stretch-reflex principle, and muscle-contraction training for optimal results. Get the dancer s legs you ve always wanted with this calorie-torching barre workout. The muscle-toning moves lengthen the thighs, lift the backside, and sculpt the backs of the legs for sleek definition and a slim figure. After the workout, relax into a 13-minute yoga- and dance-centered stretch. You ll be shopping for new skinny jeans in no time! Equipment needed: mat and chair

Price: $ 16.99
Sold by Cascio Interstate Music

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Massage and Exercise Roller Orange

Designed specifically for Self-Myosfascial Release Therapy this foam roller will feel like you are in the hands of a masseuse, while in the comfort of your home. The Grid has three different textures to give you a custom feel, a low and flat section feels like the forarm or palm, a high and firm section feels like the fingertips, and lastly medium and tubular feels like the gingers and thumb. 3-D grid allows for blood and oxygen to channel through during your workoutThe hollow core and sturdy EVA foam construction prevents break down with normal day-to-day useLenght: 13 inchesOrange New
List Price: $ 39.99
Price: $ 39.99

You May Also Like These Topics...
2 women playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

You Can Help Your Child Get More Exercise By Following These 5 Tips

Does your child get enough exercise? You can get your children more active with these 5 fun parenting tips.

man in black t-shirt and black shorts running on road during daytime

Better Health in Four Steps

In just four steps, you can improve your health for the better and this article will show you how. The steps below are bite-sized nuggets of health information you can actually use to live a healthy life. Here we go… Nutritional supplements are the first step As far as I’m concerned, they are very important […]

Top 4 Nutrition Predictions in the New Year

Several food and nutrition trends were in the spotlight this year, including the continued rise of plant-based diets, non-dairy ice creams and superfoods that are blasts from the past — legumes, apples and cabbage. It can be easy to experience nutrition whiplash in the New Year, but don’t be a victim. Get a jump-start on […]

Want to lose weight? Research proves a big breakfast is the first step

If you want to lose weight, you’re not alone. More than half of Americans desire to shed pounds, according to Gallup. This goal inspires people to take action in many ways, from increasing exercise to modifying meals. One thing many people do is skip breakfast in order to lower calorie intake. While this may seem […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Previous Post

Healthy Lifestyle Can Minimize Pregnancy Risk Factors

Next Post
Cycling Running Supplements Triathlon

Total-body Circuit Workout

Leave a Reply