Cancer as a Complex Systems Disease

"There were facets of the complexity of cancer that  I thought I understood as a researcher.  But once I became a patient, it was clear how difficult it is to translate our current understanding of cancer into clinical decisions."

-Linda Griffith, Ph.D.

Personal Interview with Linda Griffith

Linda Griffith is a biological engineer, and Professor of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also directs the Center for Gynepathology Research. Linda shares her personal experience with cancer as a researcher and breast cancer survivor .

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Joyce O'Shaughnessy, M.D.
The complex and dynamic nature of cancer is evident to us every day in the clinic.
—Joyce O'Shaughnessy, M.D., Medical Oncologist specializing in Breast Cancer
Patricia M. LoRusso D.O.
A deeper understanding of the mechanisms of cancer resistance, more precise diagnostic tools and the development of medicines to treat these changes are the real breakthroughs we need to cure cancer.
—Patricia M. LoRusso D.O., Clinical Trial Specialist in Oncology
Linda Griffith, Ph.D.

The universe of what can go wrong in a cancer cell is very complex.  Rarely is there a magic bullet for treatment – you need to take a multi-faceted approach to understand how the individual parts operate as a whole.  This is why systems biology is so important for the development of better targeted therapies for patients.

—Linda Griffith, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering; Biological Engineer