Evolution of Molecular Biology and Cancer: Crucial Turning Points and Startling Discoveries in a Continual Battle
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Cancer is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Comprehensive understanding of the evolution of molecular cell biology and cancer, and their crucial turning points in a chronological order, is of enormous importance for researchers, physicians, medical students, & other health professionals. This would allow better recognition of what we currently do have and what we have to do next to beat cancer. It is also central to realize that, while the field of molecular cell biology of cancer strived to bare the etiology of cancer or to produce a cure, it had immensely increased the understanding of the molecular biology of mammalian cells. We thus also discuss in this article how the study of cancer cells helped us to develop many of the molecular techniques used nowadays in our laboratories and clinics. Despite the surplus capacity of our cells in accommodating defects, cancer has frighteningly become a disease of the genome, and genomics is thus now considered a “dissecting” tool and a major part of cancer care. Looking to the future, there is a need to generate “individual” comprehensive genomic-based signatures, and develop better information systems for collection and integration of multiple data to improve our understanding of malignancy processes and tackle the increasing complexity (intra-/inter-individual heterogeneity) of cancer patients. This would be another turning point in the history of cancer research, and inevitably pave the way for a successful translation into clinical application in precision cancer medicine.
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