What Tumor Dynamics Modeling Can Teach us About Exploiting the Stem-Cell View for Better Cancer Treatment

Day RS.  What Tumor Dynamics Modeling Can Teach us About Exploiting the Stem-Cell View for Better Cancer Treatment. Cancer Informatics 2015 Feb 24;14(Suppl 2):25-36. PMID: 25780337 PMCID: PMC4345852

The cancer stem cell hypothesis is that in human solid cancers, only a small proportion of the cells, the cancer stem cells (CSCs), are self-renewing; the vast majority of the cancer cells are unable to sustain tumor growth indefinitely on their own. In recent years, discoveries have led to the concentration, if not isolation, of putative CSCs. The evidence has mounted that CSCs do exist and are important. This knowledge may promote better understanding of treatment resistance, create opportunities to test agents against CSCs, and open up promise for a fresh approach to cancer treatment. The first clinical trials of new anti-CSC agents are completed, and many others follow. Excitement is mounting that this knowledge will lead to major improvements, even breakthroughs, in treating cancer. However, exploitation of this phenomenon may be more successful if informed by insights into the population dynamics of tumor development. We revive some ideas in tumor dynamics modeling to extract some guidance in designing anti-CSC treatment regimens and the clinical trials that test them.

Publication Year: 
2015
Faculty Author: 
Publication Credits: 
Day, RS
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