Deadly cancers detected using mathematical simulation models

Tumor ancestral trees are physically embedded within their tumors

In cancer treatment, metastatic tumors receive equal treatment.  Patients are given the same aggressive therapies when abnormal clusters of cells are discovered early, even if they may be harmless.  In research studies co-led by Duke's Marc Ryser and colleagues, colorectal tumors were analyzed with genome sequencing technology and mathematical simulation models to determine whether the tumors were considered deadly.  This early detection of a tumor's "ancestral tree" is a significant step toward establishing a test to distinguish between deadly and harmless growths.

 

Press Release:  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/dumc-dcs050918.php

Research Article in PNAS:  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/05/09/1716552115