Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
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VIDEO: This is an interview with Dr. Ken Pienta and Dr. Jim Frost of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine talking about their experience publishing ‘Symmetry and symmetry breaking in cancer: a… view more 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ORCHARD PARK, New York – (FEBRUARY February 20, 2017) – In the cover article of Tuesday’s issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer. Co-author Dr. Coffey, ex-deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Professor of Urology, died before this paper was published at 85. (Audiopaper available here)

In physics, symmetry and the loss or breaking of symmetry refers to states of change. A perfect snowflake is rotationally symmetrical because each iteration in its pattern around the circle remains unchanged. If the snowflake should partially melt anywhere, there’s a change in the snowflake’s radial pattern and thus the symmetry is broken.

Because so many of the molecules that make life possible are constantly changing and interacting, life itself could be considered to be a stable rhythm of symmetry and symmetry breaking, Dr. Coffey and his colleagues write.

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