Navigation Links
New theory turns cancer on its head

A new theory of how cancer works could lead to the next generation of treatments of the disease.

The theory suggests that cancer forms when recently evolved genes are damaged, and cells have to revert to using older, inappropriate genetic pathways.

Astrobiologists Dr Charley Lineweaver from The Australian National University and Professor Paul Davies from Arizona State University teamed up with oncologist Dr Mark Vincent from the University of Western Ontario to develop the new model.

"The rapid proliferation of cancer cells is an ancient, default capability that became regulated during the evolution of multicellularity about a billion years ago," says Dr Lineweaver.

"Our model suggests that cancer progression is the accumulation of damage to the more recently acquired genes. Without the regulation of these recent genes, cell physiology reverts to earlier programs, such as unregulated cell proliferation."

In 2012 about 14.1 million new cases of cancer occurred globally, yet an underlying cause of the many forms of the disease has not yet been identified. To understand the disease better the team turned to the wealth of knowledge being revealed in the genome sequences from a large range of our distant relatives, including fish, corals and sponges.

This new knowledge has allowed scientists to establish the order in which genes evolved and is the basis of the new therapeutic implications of the model, said Dr Lineweaver.

"The adaptive immune system that humans have has evolved relatively recently, and it seems cancer cells do not have the ability to talk to and be protected by it. The new therapeutic strategies we are proposing target these weaknesses," he said.

"These strategies are very different from current therapies, which attack cancer's strength its ability to proliferate rapidly."

Professor Davies says the new model will not provide an overnight cure.

"It is a work in progress but we think it gives a more consistent interpretation of what is currently known about cancer than other models do," he said.

Dr Lineweaver says that his research in astrobiology led him to look at cancer.

"Paul and I have always been interested in trying to answer big questions. This led us to astrobiology and trying to answer the question 'Are we alone?' To answer that, you need to know about how life got started and evolved on this planet, and that involves understanding the evolution of multicellularity. That is an obviously missing piece from our current models of cancer."

A video summary of the research is available at


Contact: Dr Charley Lineweaver
Australian National University

Related medicine news :

1. Queuing theory helps physicist understand protein recycling
2. New theory on cause of endometriosis
3. Study casts doubt on theory that retired NFL players suffer CTE
4. Liz Deppe Joins Orangetheory Fitness
5. Orangetheory Fitness Set to Open First Southern Colorado Location in Early 2014
6. Conversations between lovers about STIs are important in theory but difficult in bed
7. Study offers new theory of cancer development
8. Study casts doubt on theory that retired NFL players suffer unique cognitive disorder
9. New theory uncovers cancers deep evolutionary roots
10. Announces Support For New Weight Loss Theory by author Dr. Khandee Ahnaimugan
11. Theory: Music underlies language acquisition
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its ... Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding ... Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: