The Principles of Cancer: A Metaphor of Life?

Roland Mertelsmann, Alexandros Spyridonidis

Affiliation: University of Patras, Dept. of Medicine, Stem Cell Transplantation, Patras, Greece

Keywords: cancer, metaphor, life, artificial intelligence

Categories: Life Sciences, Medicine

DOI: 10.17160/josha.6.6.572

Languages: English

While cancer is a complex disease with a multitude of clinical presentations, a few principles can be discerned. Cancer is old; it existed already in the earliest multicellular organisms. Cancer is natural; the older you get, you get cancer. Cancer can be considered as a “metaphor of life”; mutations are the backbone of cancer but also a prerequisite for the evolution of species (life). Still, many questions remain open: What is cancer, why does it exist and why can we not fight it successfully? Here, we propose entropy as the continuous-time stochastic principle (carcinogen) that forces to create the “parts” (mutations) and dictates them to reconstitute the “whole” (cancer). Artificial intelligence can help us to capture this “big picture” of cancer and to develop cancer therapies towards decreasing, instead of increasing, cellular entropy. Ageing process is probably orchestrated from the same entropy principle. Visualizing and calculating cellular entropy might help us to identify the differences between ageing process and cancer.

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