Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, USA
A holistic approach to tumorigenesis is proposed. The main element of the model is the existence of dynamic cellular network. This network comprises a molecular and an energetistic structure of a cell connected through the multidirectional flow of information. The interactions within dynamic cellular network are complex, stochastic, nonlinear, and also involve quantum effects. From this non- reductionist perspective, neither tumorigenesis can be limited to the genetic aspect, nor the initial event must be of molecular nature, nor mutations and epigenetic factors are mutually exclusive, nor a link between cause and effect can be established. Due to complexity, an unstable stationary state of dynamic cellular network rather than a group of unrelated genes determines the phenotype of normal and transformed cells. This implies relativity of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. A bifurcation point is defined as an unstable state of dynamic cellular network leading to the other phenotype-stationary state. In particular, the bifurcation point may be determined by a change of expression of a single gene. Then, the gene is called bifurcation point gene. The unstable stationary state facilitates the chaotic dynamics. This may result in a fractal dimension of both normal and tumor tissues. The co-existence of chaotic dynamics and complexity is the essence of cellular processes and shapes differentiation, morphogenesis, and tumorigenesis. In consequence, tumorigenesis is a complex, unpredictable process driven by the interplay between self-organisation and selection.
Address for correspondence and reprint requests to:
P. Waliszewski, M. D., Ph. D.,
Department of Urology,
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center,
920 Stanton L Young Blvd. 5SP 330,
Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA,