727 E. Tyler St. Tempe
Neoplastic progression is a process of somatic evolution. Cells mutate and some mutations increase the fitness (survival or reproduction) of the clone, leading to a clonal expansion. The evolutionary theory of cancer is now 36 years old, but the dynamics of the process are still poorly understood. What are the mutation rates for the different kinds of genetic and epigenetic lesions in progression? How many clonal expansions (advantageous mutations) are involved in progression? Can we prevent cancer by slowing the rate of mutations? I will address all of these questions through a new longitudinal study of neoplastic progression in Barrett’s esophagus.