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Created by: Kasper Karlsson, Michael deGrigorio, Christina Curtis

Issue 258: Stephen J Gould once famously asked: “Should the tape of life be replayed, would it produce similar living beings?“. In our recent manuscript we asked a similar question: 'If we initiate tumor evolution in multiple different cells, would the same phenotype emerge?'. To this end we engineered TP53-deficiency in primary human gastric organoids from healthy donors and evolved them from clonally derived replicate cultures for over two years. We observe that several features of tumor evolution can be replicated by prolonged in vitro organoid culturing, that selection is similar across replicates from the same culture and that cultures from different donors evolve similar malignant phenotypes. This suggests that tumor evolution to some extent is predictable, and that by 'restarting the tape of cancer' under different conditions, we may find a path forward that avoids malignant transformation. Press play!