With any model, the fun part are the predictions they make -- particularly the unorthodox ones. Predictions enable verification or invalidation. For the Cell paper, they do make quite an interesting prediction:
The HCC model predicts that invasive tumor properties are reversible under appropriate microenvironment conditions and suggests that differentiating therapy aimed at cancer-microenvironment interactions may be more useful than making the microenvironment harsher (e.g. by chemotherapy or antiangiogenic therapy).
Experimentally testing such predictions is decidedly non-trivial, but at least now the challenge has been posed. This prediction has clear implications for choosing therapeutic strategies, particularly in picking combinations of oncology drugs -- and few cancer patients are on only a single anti-tumor agent.
This paper is also part of Cell's experiment in electronic feedback -- readers can submit comments on the paper. The opportunity to be the first commenter still appears available -- is there anyone reading this brave enough to go for it?