Navigation Links
Modeling cancer using ecological principles

The invasion of a new species into an established ecosystem can be directly compared to the steps involved in cancer metastasis. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling uses the Tilman model of competition between invasive species to study the metastasis of prostate cells into bone.

Approximately 40,000 men a year in the US who have apparently successful surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer will suffer incurable metastasis of their disease in bone. The prostate cells invade the bone marrow and, sometimes after years of remaining dormant, compete with hematopoietic stem cells and take over the bone microenvironment.

The Tilman model examines various components of invasion of species into an environment. Kun-Wan Chen and Kenneth J. Pienta from the University of Michigan substituted steps in cancer progression into the Tilman equations. After initially multiplying and undergoing genetic mutation (equivalent to evolution) within the prostate, the cancer cells leave the prostate and enter the circulation. The next step is a period of survival in circulation followed by invasion into bone.

Once in the bone there is a 'lag period' while the cells establish themselves. Eventually, the cancer cells begin to multiply and out-compete the hematopoietic stem cells. Kun-Wan Chen explained, "The invading cancer cells could be thought of as several species, and the fittest mutants become dominant and multiply. Eventually there is a massive impact on the biosphere (human host)."

Prof Pienta continued, "Devastating ecological invasions are well known. For example introduction of domestic animals to Mauritius resulted in extinction of the dodo and Caulerpa taxifolia, a mutated killer algae, is plaguing the Mediterranean. Cancer metastasis follows a similar path to that of ecological invasions and our adaptation of the Tilman equations shows how invading cancer cells can destroy the normal body habitat. Use of ecological modeling can help us understand the complex biology of metastasis."


Contact: Dr. Hilary Glover
BioMed Central

Related biology news :

1. Research discovers frequent mutations of chromatin remodeling genes in TCC of the bladder
2. Modeling plant metabolism to optimize oil production
3. DOE grant joins climate modeling with local, regional empirical data
4. Malaria modeling and control focus of workshop
5. Consortium studying mathematical modeling of influenza infection
6. OSU, Oxford, others launch citizen scientist climate modeling initiative
7. Tutorial addresses stochastic modeling in biological process
8. Modeling study identifies characteristics of high elk-use areas in western Oregon, Washington
9. Colorado State University scientist simplifies aerosols for modeling
10. Modeling reef ecosystems focus of workshop
11. Modeling Toxoplasma focus of workshop
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/9/2016)... an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of ... make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... US Dollar project, for the , Supply and ... and IT Infrastructure , to Decatur ... of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software ... State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , ... Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated electronic ... showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 for ... Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug Information ...
Breaking Biology Technology: