From Bacterial Communication to Cyber-war on Cancer
Cancer continues to elude us. Metastasis, relapse and drug resistance are all still poorly understood and clinically insuperable. Evidently, the prevailing paradigms need to be re-examined and out-of-the-box ideas ought to be explored. Drawing upon recent discoveries demonstrating the parallels between collective behaviors of bacteria and cancer, we present a new picture of cancer as a society of smart communicating cells. There is growing evidence that cancer cells, much like bacteria do, rely on advanced communication, social networking and cooperation to grow, spread within the body, colonize new organs, relapse and develop drug resistance. We address the role of communication, cooperation and decision-making during tumoregenesis. This leads to a new picture of cancer cell migration, metastasis colonization and cell fate determination. We reason that the new understanding calls for “cyber war” on cancer – the developments of drugs to target cancer communication and control.