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Whitehead scientist helps revisit 'Hallmarks of Cancer'
Date:3/16/2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (March 16, 2011) Renowned cancer researchers Robert Weinberg, a Founding Member of Whitehead Institute, and Douglas Hanahan, Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) have updated their seminal review, "Hallmarks of Cancer," which has influenced the study of cancer and the development of therapeutics for more than a decade.

Published in January 2000, their original work, which codified the traits that all cancers have in common, would go on to become the most-cited article ever to appear in the journal Cell. Their new paper, "Hallmarks of Cancer: The Next Generation," incorporates information gleaned from the past eleven years of cancer research. This latest review, found in a recent edition of Cell, is expected to have a similarly profound impact on the study of cancer and the quest for approaches to treat it.

Cancer is a large class of very different diseases, all of which grow uncontrollably and have the ability to spread, or metastasize, throughout the body. Thousands of studies annually try to decipher these diseases and produce immense datasets that are not necessarily applicable across the constellation of cancers. To help researchers develop a functional framework for cancer as a whole, the first article distilled all of the existing research to describe six fundamental characteristics of cancer.

"In this way, the original review has been highly influential to a generation of scientists both in and outside of the cancer field," says Robert Kruger, Deputy Editor of Cell. " It is indeed rare to go to a scientific meeting on cancer and not see the figures from the review presented in the introductory slides of researchers' talks."

"The six organizing principles we proposed in the year 2000 have found, I would say, rather wide acceptance," says Weinberg, who is also a professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Having gone back and critically examin
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Contact: Nicole Giese
giese@wi.mit.edu
617-258-6851
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

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