Complexity and integration. A philosophical analysis of how cancer complexity can be faced in the era of precision medicine
- 8 Downloads
Complexity and integration are longstanding widely debated issues in philosophy of science and recent contributions have largely focused on biology and biomedicine. This paper specifically considers some methodological novelties in cancer research, motivated by various features of tumours as complex diseases, and shows how they encourage some rethinking of philosophical discourses on those topics. In particular, we discuss the integrative-cluster approach, and analyse its potential in the epistemology of cancer. We suggest that, far from being the solution to tame cancer complexity, this approach offers a philosophically interesting new manner of considering integration, and show how it can help addressing the apparent contrast between a pluralistic and a unitary account.
KeywordsComplexity Integration Cancer Precision medicine
We would like to thanks the four anonymous referees, whose comments have been very useful to improve early versions of the manuscript.
- Boniolo, G. (2007). On scientific representation. From Kant to a new philosophy of science. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan chapter 1.Google Scholar
- Boniolo, G. (2017). Patchwork narratives for tumour heterogeneity. In H. Leitgeb, I. Niiniluoto, E. Sober, & P. Seppälä (Eds.), Logic, methodology and philosophy of science – Proceedings of the 15th international congress (pp. 311–324). London: College Publications.Google Scholar
- Boniolo, G., & Nathan, M. J. (Eds.). (2017). Philosophy of molecular medicine. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Bracht, K. (2009). Biomarker: Indikatoren für Diagnose und Therapie. Pharmazeutische Zeitung http://www.pharmazeutische-zeitung.de/index.php?id=29346 (Accessed 30 April 2017.
- Chang, H. (2012). Is water H 2 O? Evidence, realism and pluralism. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Fagan, M. B. (2017). In Boniolo and Nathan (Ed.), Pathways to the clinic: Cancer stem cells and challenges for translational research (pp. 165–191).Google Scholar
- Ghasemi, M., Nabipour, I., Omrani, A., Alipour, Z., & Assadi, M. (2016). Precision medicine and molecular imaging: New targeted approaches toward cancer therapeutic and diagnosis. American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 6(6), 310–327.Google Scholar
- Goossens, N., Nakagawa, S., Sun, X., & Hoshida, Y. (2015). Cancer biomarker discovery and validation. Translational Cancer Research, 4, 256–269.Google Scholar
- Guinney, J., Rodrigo, D., Xin, W., de Reyniès, A., Andreas, S., Charlotte, S., et al. (2015). The consensus molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer. Nature Medicine, 21, 1350–1356.Google Scholar
- Hastie, T., Tibshirani, R., & Jerome, J. F. (2008). The elements of statistical learning. Data mining, inference, and prediction (pp. 502–503). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Hennig, C. (2017). Cluster validation by measurement of clustering characteristics relevant to the user, arXiv:1703.09282v1[stat.ME].Google Scholar
- Hooker, C. (2011). Philosophy of complex systems. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Kaiser, J. (2015). Obama gives east room rollout to precision medicine initiative. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa6436 (Jan. 30 2015).
- Ladyman, James, and Karoline Wiesner. (Forthcoming, 2018). What is a complex system? Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Lemoine, M. (2017). Molecular complexity: Why has psychiatry not been revolutionised by genomics (yet)? In Philosophy of molecular medicine, eds Giovanni Boniolo and Marco J. Nathan, ch. 4, London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
- Mehmood, M. A., Sehar, U., & Ahmad, N. (2014). Use of bioinformatics in different spheres of life sciences. Data Mining in Genomics and Proteomics, 5(2), 1000158.Google Scholar
- Morganella, S., Alexandrov, L. B., Glodzik, D., Zou, X., Davies, H., Staaf, J., et al. (2016). The topography of mutational processes in breast cancer genomes. Nature Communications, 7, 11383.Google Scholar
- Nabipour, I., & Assadi, M. (2016). Precision medicine, an approach for development of the future medicine technologies. ISMJ, 19, 167–184.Google Scholar
- Nik-Zainal, S., van Loo, P., Wedge, D. C., Alexandrov, L. B., Greenman, C. D., Lau, K. W., et al. (2012). The life history of 21 breast cancers. Cell, 149, 994–1007.Google Scholar
- Nik-Zainal, S., Davies, H., Staaf, J., Ramakrishna, M., Glodzik, D., Zou, X., et al. (2016). Landscape of somatic mutations in 560 breast cancer whole-genome sequences. Nature, 534, 47–54.Google Scholar
- Pereira, B., Chin, S.-F., Rueda, O. M., Vollan, H.-K. M., Provenzano, E., Bardwell, H. et al. (2016). The somatic mutation profiles of 2,433 breast cancers refine their genomic and transcriptomic landscapes. Nature Communications, 7, 11479. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11479.
- Plutynski, Anya. (Forthcoming, 2018). Explaining cancer: Finding order in disorder. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Robertson, A. G., Kim, J., al-Ahmadie, H., Bellmunt, J., Guo, G., Cherniack, A. D., et al. (2017). Comprehensive molecular characterization of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Cell, 171, 540–556 e25.Google Scholar
- Strasser, B. J. (2017). The “data-deluge”: Turning private data into public archives. In L. Daston (Ed.), Science in the archives. Pasts, presents, futures (pp. 185–202). Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
- Van Smeden, M., Harrell, F., & Dahly, D. (2018). Novel diabetes subtypes. The Lancet, 6, 439–440.Google Scholar
- Von Luxburg, U., Williamson, R. C., & Guyon, I. (2012). Clustering: Science or art? JMLR, Workshop and Conference Proceedings, 27, 65–79.Google Scholar
- Wimsatt, W. (2007). Re-engineering philosophy for limited beings. Piecewise approximation to reality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Xue, S., Qiao, J., Pu, F., Cameron, M., & Yang, J. (2013). Design of a novel class of protein-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents for the molecular imaging of cancer biomarkers. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews Nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology, 5(2), 163–179. https://doi.org/10.1002/wnan.1205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zhang, X. D. D. (2015). Precision medicine, personalized medicine, omics and big data: Concepts and relationships. Journal of Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacoproteomics, 6(2).Google Scholar