Maths can help kill cancer cells

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2013, 12:59 PM IST

Washington: Advanced mathematical modelling can be used in the fight against cancer, a new research has revealed.

A research conducted by University of Ottawa`s Faculty of Medicine has found a technique that predicts how different treatments and genetic modifications might allow cancer-killing, oncolytic viruses to overcome the natural defences that cancer cells use to stave off viral infection.

Lead author Dr. Bell and co-author Dr. Mads Kaern led a team that has used mathematical modelling to devise strategies for making cancer cells exquisitely sensitive to virus infection while killing them without affecting normal, healthy cells.

The researchers have established a mathematical model that described an infection cycle, including the way a virus replicated, spread and activated cellular defense mechanisms.

From there, they used knowledge about key physiological differences between normal cells and cancer cells to identify how modifying the genome of the virus might counter the anti-viral defenses of cancer cells.

The study was published in Nature Communications.