Using game theory to understand the physics of cancer propagation

Mar 27, 2012

In search of a different perspective on the physics of cancer, Princeton University and University of California, San Francisco researchers teamed up to use game theory to look for simplicity within the complexity of the dynamics of cooperator and cheater cells under metabolic stress conditions and high spatial heterogeneity. In the context of cancer, cooperator cells obey the general rules of communal survival, while cheater cells do not.

The ultimate goal of this research was to gain an understanding of the dynamics of cancer tumor evolution under stress. Since cancer can be likened to a community of bacteria, the researchers zeroed in on a simple bacterial model to examine the progression of resistance to drugs under high competition and .

Among their key findings: they discovered emergent cooperative outcomes between the two cell types after modifying their game theory framework to account for heterogeneous stress patterns.

Explore further: Christmas cracker pulling: How to send everyone home a winner

More information: "Physics of cancer propagation: A game theory perspective" is published in AIP Advances.

Provided by American Institute of Physics

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers investigate stress and breast cancer

Sep 20, 2011

It's a common belief that there's a link between chronic stress and an increased risk of cancer. In new research published online by the International Journal of Cancer, scientists at The University of Western Ontario have t ...

Recommended for you

Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

6 hours ago

Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist ...

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

Dec 19, 2014

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Strgzr2009
not rated yet Apr 11, 2012
It's a long awaited idea. Game theory, in my view is very underrated in the eyes of life sciences. The last five years, however there is a promising trend towards applying the GT's key principles, such as Nash equilibrium, at the cellular and even molecular level. Cudos!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.