- Published on 07 December 2015
Cancer risk debate laid to rest by novel calculations distinguishing population-wide risks for each organ and individual risks linked to environmental and genetic factors
A recent study published in Science by Tomasetti and Vogelstein suggests that variations in terms of cancer risk among tissues from various organs in the body merely amount to pure bad luck. In other words, cancer risk is linked to random mutations arising in the normal course of DNA replication of healthy cells. They also claim that environmental and genetic factors play a lesser role. The scientific community has primarily reacted negatively to this interpretation and promptly refuted it with qualitative arguments and empirical evidence. Joining these voices are Didier Sornette and Maroussia Favre from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, who uncovered the statistical fallacy at the source of the Science paper’s conclusion. The key is to distinguish between individual organ risks and population risks, they wrote in recent correspondence published in EPJ Nonlinear Biomedical Physics. They also contend that the role of genetic and environmental factors must not be underplayed, even if these factors cannot explain differences in cancer rates between different organs.
- Published on 15 May 2013
The publishers of EPJ are pleased to announce the launch of a new Open Access journal: EPJ Nonlinear Biomedical Physics. A Commentary and two Research papers are already available.
This new peer-reviewed journal will promote and disseminate new research in the field of quantitative biomedical complexity science. Its special focus is on the applications of nonlinear dynamics and complexity-inspired integrative systems science, to the quantitative modeling and understanding of how structure, function and/or dysfunctions and diseases emerge in complex biomedical matter, systems and processes.