, Volume 2, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 227-237,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Jul 2009

Principles of Modular Tumor Therapy

Abstract

Nature is interwoven with communication and is represented and reproduced through communication acts. The central question is how may multimodal modularly acting and less toxic therapy approaches, defined as modular therapies, induce an objective response or even a continuous complete remission, although single stimulatory or inhibitingly acting drugs neither exert mono-activity in the respective metastatic tumor type nor are they directed to potentially ‘tumor-specific’ targets. Modularity in the present context is a formal pragmatic communicative systems concept, describing the degree to which systems objects (cells, pathways etc.) may be communicatively separated in a virtual continuum, and recombined and rededicated to alter validity and denotation of communication processes in the tumor. Intentional knowledge, discharging in reductionist therapies, disregards the risk-absorbing background knowledge of the tumor’s living world including the holistic communication processes, which we rely on in every therapy. At first, this knowledge constitutes the validity of informative intercellular processes, which is the prerequisite for therapeutic success. All communication-relevant steps, such as intentions, understandings, and the appreciation of messages, may be modulated simultaneously, even with a high grade of specificity. Thus, modular therapy approaches including risk-absorbing and validity-modifying background knowledge may overcome reductionist idealizations. Modular therapies show modular events assembled by the tumor’s living world as an additional evolution-constituting dimension. This way, modular knowledge may be acquired from the environment, either incidentally or constitutionally. The new communicatively defined modular coherency of environment, i.e. the tumor-associated microenvironment, and tumor cells open novel ways for the scientific community in ‘translational medicine’.