PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Modeling cancer as an infectious disease

Despite tremendous advances in cancer research, a gap exists between these advances and treatments that successfully reduce mortality. One strategy to address this gap is to model cancer as an infectious disease that we give ourselves. This conceptual maneuver shifts attention from cellular proliferation and tumor growth (how cancer grows) to cellular motility and metastasis (how cancer spreads), and emphasizes properties of cancerous cells that are responsible for the majority of deaths. One consequence of modeling cancer as an infectious disease is a more direct engagement with the pathological features of cancer’s biology and, therefore, has increased promise for identifying novel clinical applications—the primary goal of translational medicine.

Author Information:

Katherine Liu    
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
University of Minnesota

Alan Love    
Philosophy
University of Minnesota

Michael Travisano    
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
University of Minnesota

 

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