Genealogies in growing solid tumors

Rick Durrett
Duke University
Friday, October 20, 2017 -
2:30pm to 3:30pm
Vincent Hall 206

Over the past decade, the theory of tumor evolution has largely focused on the selective sweeps model. According to this theory, tumors evolve by a succession of clonal expansions that are initiated by driver mutations. In a 2015 paper, Sottoriva et al collected genetic data of various types from 349 individual tumor glands were sampled from the opposite sides of 15 colorectal tumors and large adenomas. Based on this the authors proposed an alternative theory of tumor evolution, the so-called {\bf Big Bang model}, in which one or more driver mutations are acquired by the founder gland, and the evolutionary dynamics within the expanding population are predominantly neutral. In this talk we will describe a simple mathematical model that reproduces the observed phenomena and makes quantitative predictions.