Stresses drive a cancer's initiation, progression and metastasis: Critical comments on the book "Cancer Bioinformatics"

Chao Liu, Chi Zhang, Jing Su, Dongsheng Zhang, Sha Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


"Cancer Bioinformatics" is a new book published in 2014 by Springer. This 14-chapter book offers a quite unique and potentially controversial view about what drives a cancer to initiate, progress, metastasize and develop in an accelerated manner in metastatic sites. The book treats cancer as an evolutionary process of a diseased tissue (rather than cells) in an increasingly more challenging microenvironment; and discusses the various stresses encountered by a neoplastic tissue and their roles in (driving) cancer initiation, progression, metastasis and post-metastatic development. Most of the discussions are made based on discoveries through mining cancer tissue omic data. In contrast to the on-going theories that cancers are the result of genomic mutations, the book clearly downplays the roles of genomic mutations, particularly oncogenic mutations, in cancer formation and progression. Throughout the book, the authors made special efforts in conveying their overarching view that cancer is a pathway to cell survival under certain stresses, and cell proliferation is either the result or a side-effect of survival processes when evolving to overcome the stresses. While the book is presented in an informatics style, it is actually a book of cancer biology focused on how information can be derived from cancer omic data to address a variety of basic cancer biology questions. Compared to other cancer biology books, this book is clearly less detail-oriented but more holistic and spans the entire range of cancer evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1571002
JournalJournal of bioinformatics and computational biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 25 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer drivers
  • cancer bioinformatics
  • cancer biology
  • cancer evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Stresses drive a cancer's initiation, progression and metastasis: Critical comments on the book "Cancer Bioinformatics"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this