Adding Up



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Adding Up - Harvard

A merger of math and medicine may help to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies, potentially life-saving treatments that enhance the ability of the patient’s own immune system to attack cancerous tumors.

By creating mathematical models that represent the complex interactions within the tumor microenvironment (TME), the nonmutated cells, connective tissues and blood vessels inside a malignant tumor, Harvard Medical School researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital can predict how tumors may respond to immunotherapy and how adding other anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved treatment.

In addition, the models suggest that the relative health of a tumor’s blood supply could predict how that tumor will respond to immunotherapy. Their work is described online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.