Thermodynamics and Cancer Dormancy: A Perspective

  • Edward A. RietmanEmail author
  • Jack A. Tuszynski
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)


In this review we elaborate on the hypothesis that concepts adapted from statistical thermodynamics, such as entropy and Gibbs free energy, can provide very powerful quantitative measures when applied to cancer research, in particular to cancer dormancy. We discuss how on all size scales of biological organization hierarchy from DNA to tissue and organ representation, cancer progression can be correlated with these thermodynamic measures. Significant diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications of these new organizing principles are presented.


Cancer Statistical thermodynamics Entropy Information Gibbs free energy Dormancy 



E.A.R. acknowledges funding from CSTS Healthcare, Toronto, Canada. J.A.T. has been supported by funding from the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Allard Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of OncologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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