Here we review and discuss the link between regeneration capacity and tumor suppression comparing mammals (embryos versus adults) with highly regenerative vertebrates. Similar to mammal embryo morphogenesis, in amphibians (essentially newts and salamanders) the reparative process relies on a precise molecular and cellular machinery capable of sensing abnormal signals and actively reprograming or eliminating them. As the embryo's evil twin, tumor also retains common functional attributes. The immune system plays a pivotal role in maintaining a physiological balance to provide surveillance against tumor initiation or to support its initiation and progression. We speculate that susceptibility to cancer development in adult mammals may be determined by the loss of an advanced regenerative capability during evolution and believe that gaining mechanistic insights into how regenerative capacity linked to tumor suppression is postnatally lost in mammals might illuminate an as yet unrecognized route to cancer treatment.
- computational modelling
- immune system
- wound healing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)