Slow proliferation as a survival advantage: an attempt to resolve a paradox. Academic Article uri icon


  • A model is proposed for immunological high zone- and self-tolerance that is based on the concept of overstimulation of replication: It is demonstrated that if proliferation is hindered by delayed response to nutritional deficiency, then under competitive conditions slower proliferation can become a survival advantage. This offers a resolution of the paradox that self-antigens promote both positive and negative selection in the development of lymphocytes. It also suggests that maintaining nutrition and caloric intake at a minimal level can prolong the survival of cancer patients if the cancer cells replicate more rapidly than healthy ones.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001