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PLoS Biol. 2012;10(4):e1001296. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001296. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Nonheritable cellular variability accelerates the evolutionary processes of cancer.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, California, United States of America. safrank@uci.edu

Abstract

Recent cancer studies emphasize that genetic and heritable epigenetic changes drive the evolutionary rate of cancer progression and drug resistance. We discuss the ways in which nonheritable aspects of cellular variability may significantly increase evolutionary rate. Nonheritable variability arises by stochastic fluctuations in cells and by physiological responses of cells to the environment. New approaches to drug design may be required to control nonheritable variability and the evolution of resistance to chemotherapy.

PMID:
22509130
PMCID:
PMC3317895
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.1001296
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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