Cancer: Calculated treatment (Nature)

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By Natalia L. Komarova & C. Richard Boland

In a study published in eLIFE, Bozic et al. 1 use a mathematical approach to examine tumour evolution and response to chemotherapy. In one example, they describe a patient who had the skin cancer melanoma characterized by an estimated tumour burden of 9.8 × 10 10 cells and 8 metastatic lesions. Their modelling predicts a 0% chance of disease control using a single drug, but that the likelihood of successful treatment could rise to 88% during combined therapy with two drugs. The approach offers a brave, quantitative look at designing targeted therapy for cancer.

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