The Moth Method for Cancer

What if the answer to cancer was to manage it, rather than try to cure it? After all, a similar approach succeeded in keeping diamondback moths at bay, reasoned Richard Gatenby.

The radiologist and Darwin enthusiast had heard of the critters destroying crops, and coming back with a vengeance when bombarded with pesticides that triggered resistance. Occasional pesticide blasts worked better, managing moth numbers without killing them off entirely.

Inspired by this Darwinian principle, Gatenby’s “adaptive therapy” for cancer issues just enough of a drug to stop cancer from growing—“to outsmart it rather than carpet-bomb it.”


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