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Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer

Antoine Dujon 1, 2 Athena Aktipis 3 Catherine Alix‐panabières 4 Sarah Amend 5 Amy Boddy 6 Joel Brown 7 Jean‐pascal Capp 8 James Degregori 9 Paul Ewald 10 Robert Gatenby 7 Marco Gerlinger 11 Mathieu Giraudeau 1, 12 Rodrigo Hamede 13 Elsa Hansen 14 Irina Kareva 3 Carlo Maley 3 Andriy Marusyk 7 Nicholas Mcgranahan 15, 16 Michael Metzger 17 Aurora Nedelcu 18 Robert Noble 19, 20 Leonard Nunney 21 Kenneth Pienta 5 Kornelia Polyak 22, 23 Pascal Pujol 1, 9 Andrew Read 14 Benjamin Roche 1, 24 Susanne Sebens 25, 26 Eric Solary 27, 28, 29 Kateřina Staňková 30, 31 Holly Swain Ewald 10 Frédéric Thomas 1 Beata Ujvari 2
1 MIVEGEC-CREEC - Centre de Recherches Ecologiques et Evolutives sur le Cancer
PEEC - Processus Écologiques et Évolutifs au sein des Communautés
Abstract : The application of evolutionary and ecological principles to cancer prevention and treatment, as well as recognizing cancer as a selection force in nature, has gained impetus over the last 50 years. Following the initial theoretical approaches that combined knowledge from interdisciplinary fields, it became clear that using the eco-evolutionary framework is of key importance to understand cancer. We are now at a pivotal point where accumulating evidence starts to steer the future directions of the discipline and allows us to underpin the key challenges that remain to be addressed. Here, we aim to assess current advancements in the field and to suggest future directions for research. First, we summarize cancer research areas that, so far, have assimilated ecological and evolutionary principles into their approaches and illustrate their key importance. Then, we assembled 33 experts and identified 84 key questions, organized around nine major themes, to pave the foundations for research to come. We highlight the urgent need for broadening the portfolio of research directions to stimulate novel approaches at the interface of oncology and ecological and evolutionary sciences. We conclude that progressive and efficient cross-disciplinary collaborations that draw on the expertise of the fields of ecology, evolution and cancer are essential in order to efficiently address current and future questions about cancer.
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Contributor : Suzette Astruc <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 11:13:00 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 19, 2021 - 11:31:47 AM


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Antoine Dujon, Athena Aktipis, Catherine Alix‐panabières, Sarah Amend, Amy Boddy, et al.. Identifying key questions in the ecology and evolution of cancer. Evolutionary Applications, Blackwell, 2021, ⟨10.1111/eva.13190⟩. ⟨hal-03164823⟩



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