The Genetic/Non-genetic Interchangeability of Narcotic ‘Resistance’ in Cancer
Narcotic resistance is a serious impediment to the treatment of cancer. However, the mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. While it is widely held that the phenomenon is genetic in nature, emerging evidence suggests that nongenetic mechanisms may also be important. Furthermore, at least in some cases, refractoriness to treatment can be reversed by epigenetic reprogramming, and combination and intermittent therapies, as opposed to sustained monotherapy, appear more effective in attenuating it. Here we iterate the confusion in understanding the phenomenon by which cancer cells evade narcotic response and underscore the need to recognize the genetic/non-genetic Interchangeability of narcotic resistance in cancer. We discuss how ecological and evolutionary principles may help to reconcile the Interchangeability and may even offer new treatment strategies.
Keywords - Genetic, Non-Genetic, Narcotic Residence, Cancer