Close
Help





JOURNAL

Gene Regulation and Systems Biology

Implications of Systemic Dysfunction for the Etiology of Malignancy

Submit a Paper


Gene Regulation and Systems Biology 2013:7 11-22

Perspective

Published on 06 Feb 2013

DOI: 10.4137/GRSB.S10943


Further metadata provided in PDF



Sign up for email alerts to receive notifications of new articles published in Gene Regulation and Systems Biology

Abstract

The current approach to treatment in oncology is to replace the generally cytotoxic chemotherapies with pharmaceutical treatment which inactivates specific molecular targets associated with cancer development and progression. The goal is to limit cellular damage to pathways perceived to be directly responsible for the malignancy. Its underlying assumptions are twofold: (1) that individual pathways are the cause of malignancy; and (2) that the treatment objective should be destruction—either of the tumor or the dysfunctional pathway. However, the extent to which data actually support these assumptions has not been directly addressed. Accumulating evidence suggests that systemic dysfunction precedes the disruption of specific genetic/molecular pathways in most adult cancers and that targeted treatments such as kinase inhibitors may successfully treat one pathway while generating unintended changes to other, non-targeted pathways. This article discusses (1) the systemic basis of malignancy; (2) better profiling of pre-cancerous biomarkers associated with elevated risk so that preventive lifestyle modifications can be instituted early to revert high-risk epigenetic changes before tumors develop; (3) a treatment emphasis in early stage tumors that would target the restoration of systemic balance by strengthening the body's innate defense mechanisms; and (4) establishing better quantitative models of systems to capture adequate complexity for predictability at all stages of tumor progression.



Downloads

PDF  (464.42 KB PDF FORMAT)

RIS citation   (ENDNOTE, REFERENCE MANAGER, PROCITE, REFWORKS)

BibTex citation   (BIBDESK, LATEX)

XML





Quick Links


New article and journal news notification services