Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC using maths to predict cancer cell behaviour

UC using maths to predict cancer cell behaviour

December 4, 2012

The behaviour of cancer cells can be understood by the use of quite sophisticated mathematics. This approach is helping scientists understand the progression of cancer and to quantify the effects of treatment, a University of Canterbury (UC) mathematics Professor David Wall said today.

Mathematical modelling has been used in cancer research for many decades and every day progress is made towards solving the challenging problem facing society, he said.

``Multidisciplinary collaboration is essential in cancer research. Here at UC, in collaboration with the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC), we are applying mathematical modelling to contribute to the treatment of skin cancer, which is particularly prevalent in New Zealand and Australia. We are also developing tools for detecting vital cancer cell population behaviour for biologists and clinicians who deal with various cancer types,’’ Professor Wall said.

``Our research focuses on modelling the dynamics of cancer cell populations that have been exposed to cancer treatment, such as irradiation, chemotherapy or a combination of both.

``We also model cancer cell populations that have not been exposed to any cancer treatment. This modelling helps to provide a better understanding of how cancer grows and can be used to predict the most effective cancer treatment option.

``ACSRC has provided us with experimental data on melanoma cell lines, or cancer cells sourced from patients that have been artificially grown in a lab. These cancer cell lines grow and divide much faster than cancer cells in a human body. Therefore, the effects of various cancer treatments applied to them can be identified mush faster.’’

He said the cell populations, when not exposed to any cancer treatment, exhibit exponential structured growth that could be mathematically expressed with some elegant equations. Along with UC postgraduate student Liene Daukste, he was working with mathematical models that described the physical structure of cancer cell populations. This was enabling them to visualise the underlying foundation of larger cancer cell populations.

Together they had developed a set of tools or shortcuts for biologists via mathematical modelling, especially in areas where effective experimental observations could not be made. The mathematical approach often provided a framework for understanding cancer cell population kinetics, such as the behaviour of cancer tissue that was sustained by a minor population of proliferating stem cells.

``The challenge that arises in our research is to create models that would use the experimental data available without needing extra, often experimentally unobtainable, information. These sorts of issues are overcome by working closely with biologists, and adjusting mathematical models, when new information or constraints are introduced to the formulation of the problems.

``New theories and conceptually different approaches to mathematical modelling of the cancer cell population or tumour growth are published every day. It is always rewarding to participate in workshops and conferences that join biologists, clinicians and mathematicians under one roof.

``Further work includes an extension of our mathematical models to analysis of cancer cells obtained from biopsy and will hopefully be a great help in choosing a preferable treatment for each individual cancer patient.’’

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news