Monday, July 08, 2013

Exploiting ecological principles to better understand cancer progression and treatment

I talked about this before in Google+ but the paper +Alexander Anderson and myself authored at the Royal Society Interface focus is now available for everybody to see. This is a somewhat unconventional type of paper as it is not exactly a research paper, a review paper or an opinion piece but a combination of all those. I must apologise that the article is not in an open access journal but the version in arXiv has all the content (even if it's not as pretty as the journal version). Also, at least for some time, the article can be downloaded from Interface Focus [PDF].

By the way, the visuals of the article, including the following sketch by +Arturo Araujo describing the ecosystem of prostate cancer metastasis to bone, are quite impressive I think.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

More on game theory and the evolution of invasive phenotypes

+Artem Kaznatcheev , a colleague at McGill University, has taken an old paper of ours and decided to do further analysis on it. The emergence of invasiveness is one of the hallmarks of cancer progression and space is likely to play a very important role. For that reason, I used both standard evolutionary game theory and cellular automata to see how much our original results would change if space is explicitly considered. The results can be found here. Now +Artem Kaznatcheev has worked on a Ohtsuki-Nowak transform so that we could still try to understand the role of space without sacrificing the analytical power of game theory. He blogged about it here and the preliminary results look promising. The number of neighbours a tumour cell has impacts the likelihood of motility to emerge in a tumour population. Hope we can learn more about this technique in the next few days now that +Artem Kaznatcheev is in Florida.