Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using math to fight cancer

Date:
August 26, 2011
Source:
University of Miami
Summary:
Researchers have developed a mathematical model to understand and predict the progress of a tumor, from its early stages to metastasis, in hopes of creating highly personalized treatment strategies for patients who have cancer.

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) and the University of Heidelberg in Germany have developed a mathematical model to understand and predict the progress of a tumor, from its early stages to metastasis, in hopes of creating highly personalized treatment strategies for patients who have cancer. The findings are published in Nature's new online journal Scientific Reports.

When a tumor forms in the landscape of the human body, one of two things may happen: the tumor can halt its growth and lie dormant or it can grow nourished by a network of underlying vessels that expands as the tumor develops. The vessels also provide a way for the cancerous cells to travel to other parts of the body, settle and grow -- a process called metastasis.

The study reveals a hidden connection between the tumor and the nutrient supplying vessels. The method outlines paths of future tumor expansion and identifies specific points in the vessels that can be targeted to control the growth, explains Neil Johnson, Ph.D., professor of physics, director of the Complexity Research Group at UM College of Arts and Sciences and co-principal investigator of the study.

"Cancer is a disease of many scales. There are the individual cells, the cells that group together to form the tumor, the vasculature and finally metastasis. By including information about how the tumor grows in response to its nutrients, and how the growth of the tumor feeds back the nutrient supply itself, our model moves us one step closer to predicting the future evolution of a patient's tumor," Johnson says. "It opens up a path toward personalized treatment and intervention."

One interesting aspect of the model is that it's based on the distribution of feeding vessels in a tumor section. Since the vessels both feed and are fed by the tumor, estimates of growth characteristics for a patient's tumor can be made. This type of estimate can potentially be applied to a better design of treatment schedules for cancer patients, explains Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D., interim director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, at UM Miller School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the study.

"This method could be used to predict growth rates in the human setting and model effects of agents that specifically target supporting processes that sustain the tumor," Rosenblatt says. "Our model may be useful in designing treatment intervals and dosage schedules based on more accurate assessment of growth dynamics and the interdependence of tumor growth and blood vessel formation."

By analyzing images of tumor sections for distribution of tumor cells and tumor vasculature, the researchers created a simple model that predicts the most likely course of the disease, explains Sehyo Choe, post-doctoral research fellow at the Division of Theoretical Bioinformatics at the German Cancer Research Center in Germany and at the Institute for Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology University of Heidelberg; and co-principal investigator of the study.

"Our model implements local differences of a tumor directly extracted from in vivo images, and the parameters are directly measurable for each cancer," Choe says. "By doing so, we believe we are one step closer to eventually building a model that will be able to describe a likely corridor of progression of a cancer, based on real-time information of a specific patient from images and other patient specific data."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Miami. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Neil Johnson, Guannan Zhao, Zhenyuan Zhao, Hyun-Mi and Seung-Uon Shin. Model for in vivo progression of tumors based on co-evolving cell population and vasculature. Scientific Reports, 2011

Cite This Page:

University of Miami. "Using math to fight cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801094728.htm>.
University of Miami. (2011, August 26). Using math to fight cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801094728.htm
University of Miami. "Using math to fight cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801094728.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins