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REVIEW: Multidimensional Complexity of Cancer. Simple Solutions Are Needed

E. D. Sverdlov

Shemyakin–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117997 Moscow, Russia; E-mail: edsverd@gmail.com

Received April 18, 2016
Cancer is a complex system. Tumor complexity is determined not only by genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity, but also by a huge number of interactions between cancer and normal cells. The heterogeneity and complexity of a tumor causes failure of molecular targeting therapy as a tool for fighting cancer. This review considers the concepts of malignant tumors as organisms that have common characteristics despite all heterogeneity. This leads to the idea that one of the most promising strategies for fighting cancer is the use of the patient’s immune system.
KEY WORDS: cancer, pancreas, complex system, heterogeneity, targeted therapy, irreproducibility

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297916070099