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It’s a long way to Tipperary

Mariano Bizzarri

In an article recently published by an Italian newspaper (Il Corriere della Sera), it was hypothesized that the "rate of curability of cancer, in the next 10-15 years will be astonishingly  increased". That exploit should mainly be ascribed (no doubt on that!) to the new generation of molecular drugs designed to block one or more genes involved in cancer “causation”.

Unfortunately, this ‘candid’ optimism cannot be shared.


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Alessandro Giuliani
In this short commentary I’ll try to explain why looking for simpler methods and avoiding un‐necessary sophistication is crucially important, especially in nowadays science, where the low cost of accession to very sophisticated computational resources is a big temptation toward the use of the ‘most modern and powerful’ methods often forgetting the need of having a realistic and easy to interpret representation of reality. (More pdf)

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(Italian only)

Oltre il giardino:  il bello e il brutto di quando la scienza ‘esce di casa’.

Fintanto che le radici non sono recise, va tutto bene, e andrà tutto bene, nel giardino.

(Chance  il giardiniere, interpretato da Peter Sellers, Oltre il giardino, 1979)


Fornire idee che vadano oltre il particolare campo in cui una certa regolarità o un particolare fenomeno sono stati osservati, per trarne conseguenze  generali  o comunque suggestioni utili in altri campi del sapere e dell’esperienza umana , è propriamente ciò che chiamiamo cultura.

more (pdf)

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Accumulated data on somatic mutations during carcinogenesis deserve a new look
Daniel Satgé
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Nord, Saint-Etienne, France

Accumulated data on molecular events unveiled during Down syndrome leukemogenesis provide precious observations on the early steps of cancer development. These challenge the current paradigm on carcinogenesis. According to the somatic mutation theory (SMT) cancer begins with mutations on so called "cancer genes", either oncogenes or tumor-suppressor genes. In this theoretical frame mutations occur at random both in "cancer genes" and in genes considered as not involved in cancer development that we may name "non-cancer genes".

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What oncogenes are doing?

In the last decades, an impressive effort has been made in order to discover the molecular changes thought to be the “cause” of cancer. Namely, oncogene activation together with  tumour-suppressor gene inactivation are deemed to cooperate in triggering the full set of events that drive cell’s fate towards the neoplastic transformation.

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