Mathematical modelling: Forecasting cancer : Nature

Interesting summary of how mathematical modelling is helping develop new cancer fighting strategies, by integrating, analyzing, and modelling a broader range of data. Another approach to more personalized medicine and improving treatment, based on better understanding of how cancer cells evolve and adapt. Quote:

The evolutionary game-theory model — in which each treatment was a move in the game, made in anticipation of cancer’s response — suggested the development of that vulnerability and helped clarify results from a recent clinical trial2. Patients with recurring, aggressive lung cancer who were treated with both traditional chemotherapy and a vaccine targeting the tumour-suppressing p53 protein fared better than patients who didn’t receive the vaccine. The combination of treatments increased survival time by about 4 months and doubled the number of people surviving more than a year. “The tumour successfully adapted to an initial therapy, but that adaptation rendered it more susceptible to another therapy,” Gatenby said. This is known as an evolutionary double bind. “We don’t pretend that this could last forever, but if we could get an extra five to ten years out of evolutionary tricks, it would be a huge improvement.”

Mathematical modelling: Forecasting cancer : Nature : Nature Publishing Group.

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