Consideraciones teóricas sobre la perspectiva ecológica-evolutiva del cáncer

Armando Ernesto Pérez Cala, Edgar Benítez Sánchez, Yelina de la Caridad Dominica Esteris

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Resumen

El cáncer constituye un serio problema de salud a nivel mundial. La introducción de una perspectiva ecológica y evolutiva de las neoplasias malignas tiene como propósito un enfoque más sistémico y objetivo a la naturaleza de este heterogéneo grupo de enfermedades. Con el objetivo de un acercamiento a las ideas más generalizadas existentes en la actualidad sobre la perspectiva ecológica-evolutiva del cáncer, se realizó la presente revisión. El cáncer es un fenómeno universal que afecta a todas las formas de organismos pluricelulares. El riesgo de desarrollar tumores malignos se encuentra estrechamente relacionado con los patrones de historias de vida trazados por el proceso evolutivo, acorde a la necesidad adaptativa de los organismos a los diferentes nichos ecológicos que ocupan. Existe asociación entre el desarrollo evolutivo de mecanismos protectores contra tumores malignos y el costo evolutivo de estos en términos de éxito reproductivo. El éxito reproductivo parece depender del tamaño corporal, la distribución de energía hacia procesos básicos y el riesgo basal de cáncer. La selección natural favorece mecanismos efectivos, que protejan contra el cáncer siempre que permitan una optimización de otros rasgos que determinen el éxito adaptativo. Las conclusiones derivadas de estos principios ecológicos y evolutivos, deben servir para una mejor caracterización de los factores dependientes tanto de los factores biológicos como de los ambientales que influyen en el riesgo de la carcinogénesis. Más del 90 % del incremento del riesgo basal de cáncer, incluso en especies naturales, obedecen a la actividad humana, y por tanto, pueden ser modificables. 

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