The onset of cancer presents one of the most fundamental problems in modern biology. In Dynamics of Cancer , Steven Frank produces the first comprehensive analysis of how particular genetic and environmental causes influence the age of onset.
The book provides a unique conceptual and historical framework for understanding the causes of cancer and other diseases that increase with age. Using a novel quantitative framework of reliability and multistage breakdown, Frank unifies molecular, demographic, and evolutionary levels of analysis. He interprets a wide variety of observations on the age of cancer onset, the genetic and environmental causes of disease, and the organization of tissues with regard to stem cell biology and somatic mutation. Frank uses new quantitative methods to tackle some of the classic problems in cancer biology and aging: how the rate of increase in the incidence of lung cancer declines after individuals quit smoking, the distinction between the dosage of a chemical carcinogen and the time of exposure, and the role of inherited genetic variation in familial patterns of cancer.
This is the only book that presents a full analysis of the age of cancer onset. It is a superb teaching tool and a rich source of ideas for new and experienced researchers. For cancer biologists, population geneticists, evolutionary biologists, and demographers interested in aging, this book provides new insight into disease progression, the inheritance of predisposition to disease, and the evolutionary processes that have shaped organismal design.