Phase Transitions in Cancer

  • Ricard V. SoléEmail author
Part of the SIMAI Springer Series book series (SEMA SIMAI)


Cancer dynamics is sometimes associated to well-defined transitions between qualitative properties of neoplasms, or even to the shift from presence to regression. Cancer is largely understood as a Darwinian evolution experiment within organisms, characterized by a break of cooperation between cells. Some patterns of sudden change have been identified as phase transitions, similar to those known from the physics of phase changes. Two of them are analyzed here: (a) the shift from cancer to cancer-free tissues under the interaction with the immune system, and (b) the predicted existence of a threshold of instability associated to unstable tumorigenesis. The nature, evidence and implications of these transitions are discussed.


Replication Rate Genetic Instability Spontaneous Regression Error Threshold Master Sequence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICREA-Complex Systems LabUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institut de Biologia EvolutivaCSIC-UPF08003BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA

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