Turning natural adaptations to oncogenic factors into an ally in the war against cancer

Beata U.

Authors: Marion Vittecoq, Mathieu Giraudeau, Tuul Sepp, David J. Marcogliese, Marcel Klaassen, François Renaud, Beata Ujvari & Frédéric Thomas

Source: Evolutionary Applications (14 March 2018)

Brief summary of the paper: Both field and experimental evolution studies have demonstrated that organisms naturally or artificially exposed to environmental oncogenic factors can, sometimes rapidly, evolve specific adaptations to cope with pollutants and their adverse effects on fitness.

Although numerous pollutants are mutagenic and carcinogenic, little attention has been given to exploring the extent to which adaptations displayed by organisms living in oncogenic environments could inspire novel cancer treatments, through mimicking the processes allowing these organisms to prevent or limit malignant progression.

Building on a substantial knowledge base from the literature, we here present and discuss this progressive and promising research direction, advocating closer collaboration between the fields of medicine, ecology, and evolution in the war against cancer.