Tumor Evolution & Progression

Reprogramming cancer cells into dormancy

The theory of dynamic cell attractors provides a theoretical framework for understanding how to reprogram ordinary cells into stem cells. Similarly, it can be used to engineer solutions to reprogramming cancer cells into non-proliferative states.

What is the research problem

Even cancers that respond well to initial therapy can resurface months or years later. This is evidence of a dormant state that cancer cells can enter. Reprogramming tumor cells into dormancy may be a less toxic and more effective treatment paradigm.

How will your solution make a difference

Cancer attractors provide a theoretical framework for understanding the complexity of tumor progression and response to therapy. Prioritizing this sort of work through targeted funding will accelerate its development and testing in clinical trials.

What is your proposed solution

Many experiments have shown that some cancer tissues (e.g. breast) can be reprogrammed to a normal state by signals from the tumor microenvironment. Work is already being done in the field of systems biology on understanding how to control and drive complex gene network models, e.g. from cancer attractors to dormant or non-damaging phenotypes. Devote resources to accelerate work in this area and translate it into treatment protocols and trials.

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Idea No. 109