Dynamic modeling of genes controlling cancer stem cell proliferation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Frontiers in genetics, Volume 3, p.84 (2012)


2012, June 2012, Public Health Sciences Division


The growing evidence that cancer originates from stem cells (SC) holds a great promise to eliminate this disease by designing specific drug therapies for removing cancer SC. Translation of this knowledge into predictive tests for the clinic is hampered due to the lack of methods to discriminate cancer SC from non-cancer SC. Here, we address this issue by describing a conceptual strategy for identifying the genetic origins of cancer SC. The strategy incorporates a high-dimensional group of differential equations that characterizes the proliferation, differentiation, and reprogramming of cancer SC in a dynamic cellular and molecular system. The deployment of robust mathematical models will help uncover and explain many still unknown aspects of cell behavior, tissue function, and network organization related to the formation and division of cancer SC. The statistical method developed allows biologically meaningful hypotheses about the genetic control mechanisms of carcinogenesis and metastasis to be tested in a quantitative manner.