The Society of Cells: Cancer and Control of Cell Proliferation

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For more than 30 years, the majority of researchers has assumed quiescence to be the default state of all cells and so have provided cells in culture with 'growth factors' to stimulate them to proliferate. During this time, many putative growth factors have been identified and ever more complex mechanisms through which they could interact and stimulate cells have been proposed. However, quiescence as the default state does not make evolutionary sense and many sets of data do not support this hypothesis. In The Society of Cells, an alternative explanation for these results is proposed by applying the premise that the default state must be proliferation, with multiplication being a 'built in' property of all forms of life.

The authors begin by reviewing the concepts and theories that guide research on the control of cell proliferation and cancer, and asking the question 'what is the nature of the default state of all cells - quiescence or proliferation?'. Later chapters concern cancer, where control of cell proliferation and the tissue organisation are defective.

Despite decades of work and financial support to explore the somatic mutation theory of carcinogenesis, we appear no nearer to explaining how cancer arises. This requires researchers to take stock and consider new hypotheses and alternative approaches to the study of control of cell proliferation, and cancer in particular. The Society of Cells is intended to encourage such a revaluation and proposes the adoption of new premises to explore these important subjects.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

New England Journal of Medicine
The Society of Cells is a deceptively simple presentation of a profound hypothesis. This little book of only 154 pages should not be dismissed because of its seeming simplicity or because most of its points have not yet been proved; some of the points have indeed been demonstrated, and the argument is heuristically appealing. The viewpoint of the authors needs to be considered carefully by all biologists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859962763
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Cell proliferation: the background and the premises 1
2 Cell proliferation, cell nutrition and evolution 14
3 The experimental evaluation of cell proliferation 31
4 Hypotheses for the control of cell proliferation 41
5 Sex hormone-mediated control of cell proliferation 60
6 Cell proliferation and tissue differentiation 78
7 Introduction to carcinogenesis and neoplasia 91
8 The enormous complexity of cancer 99
9 Facts and fantasies in carcinogenesis 112
Epilogue. Moving toward the integration of cell proliferation, carcinogenesis, and neoplasia into biology 134
Index 145
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