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Philosophy of Biology: Characterizing causality in cancer

Rondeau, Elena and Larmonier, Nicolas and Pradeu, Thomas and Bikfalvi, Andreas (2019) Philosophy of Biology: Characterizing causality in cancer. eLife, 8. e53755.


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Philosophers have explored the concept of causality for centuries. Here we argue that ideas about causality from philosophy can help scientists to better understand how cancerous tumors grow and spread in the body. After outlining six characteristics of causality that are relevant to cancer, we emphasize the importance of feedback loops and interactions between tumor-cell-intrinsic and tumor-cell-extrinsic factors for explaining the formation and dissemination of tumors.

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Item Type: Article
Rondeau, Elena
Larmonier, Nicolas
Pradeu, Thomas
Bikfalvi, Andreas
Keywords: metastasis, carcinogenesis, causality, philosophy of biology
Depositing User: Thomas Pradeu
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2020 14:10
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 14:10
Item ID: 18234
Journal or Publication Title: eLife
Official URL:
Date: November 2019
Page Range: e53755
Volume: 8

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