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Computer model predicts brain tumor growth and evolution
Date:5/18/2009

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Researchers from Brown University and other institutions have developed a computational computer model of how brain tumors grow and evolve.

The model is the product mathematical formulas based on the first principals of physics, such as conservation of mass, and it has allowed researchers to recreate tumor growth in a computer. Through subsequent repetitive testing against real tumors, they have also linked their computerized tumors to real-world brain tumors, or "gliomas," and can now watch tumor growth on a computer screen.

Creating such a model is significant because it could help design specific, targeted treatments for individualized therapy. There is no cure for gliomas, which can kill quickly, often within 15 months of diagnosis. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy announced a year ago that he was suffering from this type of tumor, a malignant glioma of the brain.

Details of the research were highlighted at an April meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The full article is included in the May 15 edition of the journal Cancer Research.

"This helps us design a treatment," said Elaine Bearer, the lead author and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown. "By testing potential therapies in the computer, we can get our new drugs much faster to patients."

Bearer, who also has faculty appointments in the Division of Engineering and the Department of Music, worked with a number of collaborators on the project, including co-author and Vittorio Christini, a mathematician at the University of Texas.

To conduct the study, Bearer and her collaborators developed a mathematical formula that incorporated a number of equations describing the process of tumor evolution and growth. The master computational model was built on formulas that predict how much oxygen tumor cells consume and the rate of oxygen diffusion, and quantitative measures of ce
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Contact: Mark Hollmer
Mark_Hollmer@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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