5IN - Hallmarks of cancer: A 2012 Perspective

Date 30 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session The hallmarks of cancer revisited
Topics Cancer biology
Basic Scientific Principles
Presenter Douglas Hanahan
Authors D. Hanahan
  • EPFL, 1015 - Lausanne/CH


The Hallmarks of Cancer perspective (Hanahan & Weinberg, 2000; 2011) presents an organizing principle with which to distill the daunting complexity of human cancers into a rational commonality of their aberrant basis as proliferative disease, despite the disparate manifestations reflected in that complexity. A series of (now eight) acquired hallmark capabilities, each with distinctive properties, are arguably necessary for malignant progression, capabilities whose acquisition underlay the multistep nature of carcinogenesis. The mechanisms governing these acquired capabilities involve not only genetic and epigenetic changes in the cancer cells that form the basis of chronic proliferation and persistence. Ostensibly normal cells recruited to compose the neoplastic stroma of the tumor microenvironment – notably endothelial cells and pericytes, infiltrating immune cells, and activated cancer associated fibroblasts –are also instrumental, functionally contributing to most of the hallmark capabilities (Hanahan & Coussens 2012). The hallmarks conceptualization, of discrete and quasi-independent capabilities necessary for progression, suggests new therapeutic approaches involving targeting multiple hallmark functions, which are beginning to be tested in pre-clinical and clinical trials. Hanahan D, & Weinberg RA. (2000). The hallmarks of cancer. Cell.100: 57-70. Hanahan D, & Weinberg RA. (2011). Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. (2011). Cell.144: 646-674. Hanahan D, & Coussens LM. (2012). Accessories to the crime: functions of cells recruited to the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Cell. 21: 309-322.


D. Hanahan: Member, Scientific Advisory Panel for Oncology, Pfizer Member, SAB, & stock options, Jennerex Biotherapeutics unpaid consultant & stockholder, Onyx Pharma unpaid consultant & stockholder, Aveo Pharma.