Home | Clinical Practice | Avoiding the “lure of the cure”: a new approach to cancer theory

Avoiding the “lure of the cure”: a new approach to cancer theory

It is time to think of cancer as a chronic disease and use cancer treatment as something that manages the disease, rather than eradicate it all together.

These ideas are part of a new theory put forward by Professor Paul Davies and his colleagues, forming part of a new "bottom up" approach to cancer theory.

A theoretical physicist by trade, with an interest in cosmology and astrophysics, Davies' career more closely mirrors that of the late physicist  and his friend Stephen Hawking, than that of an oncologist.

He was first approached to explore cancer research by the deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, Dr Anna Barker, in 2008 as she sought some 'out of the oncological-box' thinking.

This led to 12 new cancer centres opening across the US, pairing physical scientists with oncologists and precipitating theories that viewed cancer through an evolutionary prism and positing new approaches to screening, as well as potentially revolutionary ideas on treatment.

Nursing Review spoke with Davies and he explained how he used the tree of life to trace the origins of cancer.

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