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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26100. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026100. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Overlooking evolution: a systematic analysis of cancer relapse and therapeutic resistance research.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America. aktipis@asu.edu

Abstract

Cancer therapy selects for cancer cells resistant to treatment, a process that is fundamentally evolutionary. To what extent, however, is the evolutionary perspective employed in research on therapeutic resistance and relapse? We analyzed 6,228 papers on therapeutic resistance and/or relapse in cancers and found that the use of evolution terms in abstracts has remained at about 1% since the 1980s. However, detailed coding of 22 recent papers revealed a higher proportion of papers using evolutionary methods or evolutionary theory, although this number is still less than 10%. Despite the fact that relapse and therapeutic resistance is essentially an evolutionary process, it appears that this framework has not permeated research. This represents an unrealized opportunity for advances in research on therapeutic resistance.

PMID:
22125594
PMCID:
PMC3219640
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0026100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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