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Cancer evolution

Cancer is so difficult to treat because it is enormously complex, and as its molecular make-up changes, it can evolve and adapt to changes in its environment — and become resistant to treatment.

Our Centre for Evolution and Cancer is applying Charles Darwin’s principle of natural selection within ecosystems to aid our understanding of why we develop cancer and why it is so difficult to treat.

Confronting its ability to adapt and evolve is a key area of research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London and forms a central part of our current research strategy.

Our research will help us predict the path of cancer evolution from a single tumour sample, so doctors can see and counter-act cancer’s next move. We are also creating brand-new types of cancer drug that block the whole process of cancer evolution.

This page highlights recent research news that relates to cancer evolution.