March 11, 2015
- Cancer is derived from a single somatic cell that has accumulated multiple DNA mutations.
- The default state of cell proliferation in metazoan (animal life) is quiescence
- Cancer is a disease of cell proliferation caused by mutations in genes that control proliferation and the cell cycle.
The genes of cellular cooperation that evolved with multicellularity about a billion years ago are the same genes that malfunction to cause cancer.We hypothesize that cancer is an atavistic condition that occurs when genetic or epigenetic malfunction unlocks an ancient 'toolkit' of pre-existing adaptations, re-establishing the dominance of an earlier layer of genes that controlled loose-knit colonies of only partially differentiated cells, similar to tumors.The existence of such a toolkit implies that the progress of the neoplasm in the host organism differs distinctively from normal Darwinian evolution.