Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Modeling cancer using ecological principles

Date:
October 5, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
The invasion of a new species into an established ecosystem can be directly compared to the steps involved in cancer metastasis. New research uses the Tilman model of competition between invasive species to study the metastasis of prostate cells into bone.

The invasion of a new species into an established ecosystem can be directly compared to the steps involved in cancer metastasis. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling uses the Tilman model of competition between invasive species to study the metastasis of prostate cells into bone.

Approximately 40,000 men a year in the US who have apparently successful surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer will suffer incurable metastasis of their disease in bone. The prostate cells invade the bone marrow and, sometimes after years of remaining dormant, compete with hematopoietic stem cells and take over the bone microenvironment.

The Tilman model examines various components of invasion of species into an environment. Kun-Wan Chen and Kenneth J. Pienta from the University of Michigan substituted steps in cancer progression into the Tilman equations. After initially multiplying and undergoing genetic mutation (equivalent to evolution) within the prostate, the cancer cells leave the prostate and enter the circulation. The next step is a period of survival in circulation followed by invasion into bone.

Once in the bone there is a 'lag period' while the cells establish themselves. Eventually, the cancer cells begin to multiply and out-compete the hematopoietic stem cells. Kun-Wan Chen explained, "The invading cancer cells could be thought of as several species, and the fittest mutants become dominant and multiply. Eventually there is a massive impact on the biosphere (human host)."

Prof Pienta continued, "Devastating ecological invasions are well known. For example introduction of domestic animals to Mauritius resulted in extinction of the dodo and Caulerpa taxifolia, a mutated killer algae, is plaguing the Mediterranean. Cancer metastasis follows a similar path to that of ecological invasions and our adaptation of the Tilman equations shows how invading cancer cells can destroy the normal body habitat. Use of ecological modeling can help us understand the complex biology of metastasis."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kun-Wan Chen and Kenneth J Pienta. Modeling invasion of metastasizing cancer cells to bone marrow utilizing ecological principles. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling (in press), 2011 [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Modeling cancer using ecological principles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003080521.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, October 5). Modeling cancer using ecological principles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003080521.htm
BioMed Central. "Modeling cancer using ecological principles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003080521.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins