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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 612369, 10 pages
Review Article

Mitochondria and Cancer: Past, Present, and Future

1Juravinski Cancer Centre, 699 Concession Street, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8V 5C2
2Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street W, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 3Z5
3Mitomics Inc., Bioincubator Suite, The Medical School, New Castle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK
4Cipher Systems, Annapolis, MD 21401, USA
5Mitomics Inc., 290 Munro Street, Suite 1000, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada P7A 7T1

Received 30 October 2012; Accepted 13 December 2012

Academic Editor: George Perry

Copyright © 2013 M. L. Verschoor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The area of mitochondrial genomics has undergone unprecedented growth over the past several years. With the advent of the age of omics, investigations have reached beyond the nucleus to encompass the close biological communication and finely coordinated interactions between mitochondria and their nuclear cell mate. Application of this holistic approach, to all metabolic interactions within the cell, is providing a more complete understanding of the molecular transformation of the cell from normal to malignant behavior, before histopathological indications are evident. In this review the surging momentum in mitochondrial science, as it relates to cancer, is described in three progressive perspectives: (1) Past: the historical contributions to current directions of research; (2) Present: Contemporary findings, results and approaches to mitochondria and cancer, including the role of next generation sequencing and proteomics; (3) Future: Based on the present body of knowledge, the potential assets and benefits of mitochondrial research are projected into the near future.