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Cancer evolution

Originally Aired: April 28th, 2017

Cancer development and progression involves formation of tumours with unique genomic, molecular and functional attributes and distinct therapy responses through a process of clonal evolution.

We now appreciate that over the course of the disease, cancer cells are subject to diverse selective pressures that may arise from the cancer cells themselves, from the tumour microenvironment, or from anti-cancer treatments. Technological advances in genome sequencing and the analysis of the clonal composition of tumours using animal models and human patient samples, together with the use of evolutionary biology approaches have enabled rapid progress in this field. Our increasing understanding of the mechanisms that underlie cancer evolution and heterogeneity, and their significance for tumour growth, progression and therapeutic intervention, has heightened the drive to translate these insights and new technologies into the clinic, to improve the individualised diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.

In this webcast Peter Campbell discusses cancer genomics and the technologies and tools that have enabled the study of cancer evolution through genome-wide analyses of somatic mutations in tumours. Next, Kornelia Polyak describes the biological mechanisms that govern tumour evolution, such as cellular clonal dynamics as studied in the laboratory. Finally, Alberto Bardelli explains the clinical consequences of tumour evolution, including the development of drug resistance and how our knowledge of the process can be harnessed to improve therapy.

These presentations will be followed by a live discussion on how these three areas of research intersect and where the field is heading.

Peter Campbell
Head of Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation, and Senior Group Leader
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge UK
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Kornelia Polyak
Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
Dana-Farber Cancer Center Institute, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge USA
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Alberto Bardelli
Professor at the Department of Oncology, University of Torino and Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at the Candiolo Cancer Institute-IRCCS, Candiolo Italy
University of Torino and the Candiolo Cancer Institute-IRCCS, Italy
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Alexia-Ileana Zaromytidou
Chief Editor, Moderator
Nature Cell Biology
View Biography

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