‘Drivers’ and ‘Passengers’: who’s in charge?

Genome sequencing has revealed that a plethora of gene mutations can co-exist in individual cancers: thousands in some cases 1,2. Based on Darwinian theory, we assume that whilst most are irrelevant, buried in the background is a modest number of mutations (perhaps counted in single figures) that are functionally active in a way that contributes to cancer clonal development. The ‘offspring’ of the cells with these mutations will be more successful than the cells that surround them. Continue reading

NCRI 2015 – Evolutionary tales in leukaemia

NCRI 2015

At the 2015 NCRI Conference Professor Mel Greaves, our founding author, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by CRUK

This post is a synopsis of the lecture I gave at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference in Liverpool on the 2nd November 2015 – minus some anecdotes about mentors and colleagues – you needed to be there to hear those. It’s my personal, historical narrative of tackling the challenge involved in unravelling the biology and causes of childhood leukaemia. Continue reading