Gene regulatory networks: a new conceptual framework to analyse breast cancer behaviour.

Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy.
Annals of Oncology (Impact Factor: 7.38). 11/2010; 22(6):1259-65. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdq546
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The study of complex systems has clearly evidenced that a few overall behavioural properties cannot be inferred from the properties of their single parts and are rather determined by their architecture. Such an approach has been recently proposed in biology to understand genome functioning and in oncology to endeavour a more consistent explanation of the variegated cancer behaviours. In the present perspective, we summarise the basic concepts of the proposed global approach and then we reconsider, in this new context, tumour dormancy and primary tumour removal effects, which recently emerged as critical points for breast cancer understanding.