© 2011

Two Faces of Evil: Cancer and Neurodegeneration

  • Thomas Curran
  • Yves Christen

Part of the Research and Perspectives in Alzheimer's Disease book series (ALZHEIMER)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Alfred Nordheim, Bernd Knöll
    Pages 27-39
  3. Eric C. Griffith, Paul L. Greer, Michael E. Greenberg
    Pages 41-56
  4. Young-Goo Han, Arturo Alvarez-Buylla
    Pages 73-82
  5. Freda D. Miller, David R. Kaplan
    Pages 83-93
  6. Frédéric Checler, Julie Dunys, Raphaëlle Pardossi-Piquard, Cristine Alves da Costa
    Pages 95-101
  7. Robert B. Darnell
    Pages 103-111
  8. Dengke K. Ma, Junjie U. Guo, Guo-li Ming, Hongjun Song
    Pages 113-123
  9. Kenneth S. Kosik, Pierre Neveu, Sourav Banerjee
    Pages 133-142
  10. Sathyanarayanan Puthanveettil, Eric Kandel
    Pages 143-160
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 161-163

About this book


The two greatest medical fears of the aging population are cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Despite dramatic advances in understanding the molecular etiology of these disorders, therapeutic options for many patients with advanced disease have changed little and outcomes remain dismal. Paradoxically, recent findings suggest that some of the same molecules and biochemical processes underlying cancer may also participate in neurodegeneration. Therefore, it would be very useful to bring together experts from the fields of cancer research and neurodegeneration for discussions of the latest advances and ideas, with a particular emphasis on areas of overlap, to stimulate transdisciplinary interactions with the hope of accelerating progress. Cancer arises as a consequence of a breakdown in the genetic and epigenetic processes governing cell proliferation and cell death. Alterations in several classes of signaling molecules, both oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, lead to uncontrolled cell growth. Over the past two decades, details of the intricate signaling pathways, from cell surface receptors through protein kinase cascades, transcription factors and modulators of chromatin, as well as the DNA damage response pathways linked to cell cycle control that guard the genome, have been uncovered. In some instances, key regulatory proteins have provided novel targets for development of small molecule inhibitors that are currently being tested in the clinic. The development of the nervous system relies on many of the signaling pathways and growth control processes that go awry in cancer. However, in mature neurons, the very same signaling proteins participate in transduction cascades linking short-term stimuli, elicited by synaptic stimulation, to long-term alterations in neuronal circuits through the regulation of gene expression and chromatin structure. These long-term adaptive modifications lead to changes in synaptic structure and function that contribute to learning and memory. The persistence of growth regulatory molecules in postmitotic neurons provides an opportunity for their contribution to pathophysiological processes resulting in neuronal loss. Recently, evidence has accumulated suggesting an association of cell cycle proteins and signal transduction proteins with neurodegeneration. Indeed, inhibitors of histone deacetylation have shown promise both as anti-cancer agents and in the prevention of neuronal loss


Cdk2 Cdk4 Cdk5 DNA repair pathway Ube3A hedgehog signaling pathway long-term memory storage medulloblastoma microRNAs myocardin related transcription factor serum response factor tumor-suppressor oncogene

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas Curran
    • 1
  • Yves Christen
    • 2
  1. 1., Department of Pathology and Laboratory MThe Children's Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Fondation IPSENBoulogne-Billancourt CedexFrance

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Two Faces of Evil: Cancer and Neurodegeneration
  • Editors Thomas Curran
    Yves Christen
  • Series Title Research and Perspectives in Alzheimer's Disease
  • Series Abbreviated Title Research,Persp.Alzheimer's Disease
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-16601-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-26771-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-16602-0
  • Series ISSN 0945-6066
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 166
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Neurosciences
    Cancer Research
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“The authors look at the etiology and molecular pathophysiology of several genes involved in cellular demise and cell proliferation. … The book is going to be of interest to cell biologists primarily and anyone with an interest in cancer or neurodegeneration.” (Joseph J. Grenier,, September, 2013)