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Future prostate cancer treatments might be guided by math
Date:11/21/2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio Scientists have designed a first draft of a mathematical model that someday could guide treatment decisions for advanced prostate cancer, in part by helping doctors predict how individual patients will respond to therapy based on the biology of their tumors.

These decisions would apply to treatment of cancer that has already spread beyond the prostate gland or that has recurred after initial treatments, such as surgery or radiation. Patients with this more advanced prostate cancer receive a therapy called androgen ablation, which inhibits production of testosterone the culprit that allows a tumor to keep growing.

Though the model's outcomes remain theoretical at this point, the researchers have developed enough of a system to show that their incorporation of some personalized data details about a patient's tumor cell characteristics in particular would give doctors more than they currently have to work with in making decisions about this stage of treatment.

"The model in its current form is proof of the concept that we can capture all of these different outcomes that are observed clinically. But we still need to refine the model with as much individual data as we can obtain," said Harsh Jain, a postdoctoral fellow in Ohio State University's Mathematical Biosciences Institute and lead author of the study.

"We envision that this model would be useful for clinicians who could keep feeding the equations with data about how a patient is responding to therapy, which would offer clues about how his cancer cells are mutating. Once you have an idea about that for the short or medium term, the model could predict the optimal therapy for that patient," Jain said.

The model is described this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jain conducted the work with co-authors Steven Clinton, professor, and Arvinder Bhinder, assistant professor-clinical, in Ohio
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Contact: Harsh Jain
hjain@mbi.osu.edu
614-688-0427
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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