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Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences$
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Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226569871

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226570075.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

The Origins of “Dynamic Reciprocity”

The Origins of “Dynamic Reciprocity”

Mina Bissell’s Expansive Picture of Cancer Causation

Chapter:
(p.96) 6 The Origins of “Dynamic Reciprocity”
Source:
Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences
Author(s):

Anya Plutynski

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226570075.003.0007

This chapter discusses Mina Bissell's pathbreaking research on cancer. Along with her colleagues and students, Bissell focused her attention on how the causal pathways regulating cell behavior were a two way street. Healthy cells’ and cancer cells’ behavior are both highly context-dependent. The pathway to this insight was not direct. Bissell’s work began with research into cellular metabolism. As a result of this early research, she found that cells can “change their fate” – revert to, or activate, functions not typical of cells in the differentiated state. This had important implications for our understanding of cancer's etiology and treatment. Bissell - among others - emphasized in her research that it was not simply cell intrinsic properties – such as mutations to “oncogenes” and “tumor suppressor” genes – that determine the typical behaviors of cancer cells, but also a variety of extrinsic properties in the surrounding environment: metabolic and other signaling molecules, the extracellular matrix, and tissue architecture.

Keywords:   cancer, tissue microenvironment, signaling, differentiation, oncogenes, developmental biology, metabolism, Mina Bissell

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