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Scientists Create A New Computational Model That Can Predict Therapy Outcomes in Prostate Cancer With Bone Metastasis

Update Date: May 01, 2014 08:50 AM EDT

A new computational model that stimulates bone metastasis of prostate cancer is also capable of rapidly assessing experimental therapy outcomes, according to a new research. The model can also help develop personalized medicine for patients with this disease. 

"Bone remodeling is a balanced and extremely well regulated process that controls the health of our bones and the levels of circulating calcium," said Leah M. Cook, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Tumor Biology at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, in a press release. "Active prostate cancer cells in the bone environment can speak the same language of the bone remodeling cells, and disrupt the delicate bone remodeling process. They promote extensive bone destruction and formation that in turn yields nutrients, allowing the prostate cancer cells to grow, thus creating a vicious cycle."

For creating the computational model researchers created simulations of different cell types involved in bone metastasis of prostate cancer. Afterwards they created algorithms that simulated the interactions of these cells among themselves and with other bone metastasis-related factors in the microenvironment. 

"The mathematical model we created simulates this vicious cycle, and allows us to predict the impact of potential therapies on cancer cells and normal cells of the bone," said Arturo Araujo, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center. "Unlike biological models, we can freeze the mathematical model at any time point in order to explore what each cell is doing at that particular point in time."

Researchers also noted that with further improvements, the model could be individualized to determine personalized medicine for prostate cancer patients. 

Findings of the research has been published in the journal Cancer Research. 

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