An Israeli physicist has developed a theoretical model to simulate the evolution of highly proliferating brain tumour core cells subjected to treatment by alternating radio frequency electric field. The research, by Alexander Iomin from the Israel Institute of Technology Technion in Haifa, is about to be published in *European Physical Journal E*. In another model, the author examines the possibility of enhancing the level of treatment by targeting the outer area of the tumour.

Iomin introduced a theoretical evaluation of the effect of a standard treatment known as tumour-treating-field (TTF) on the speed of development of a type of brain tumour called glioma. To do so, he adapted a well-established model -- the so-called fractal comb model, which looks like the regularly spaced teeth of a comb -- based on a mathematical approach called fractional calculus. This model is based on the hypothesis that TTF treatment had limited efficiency in the outer region and would only be effective on the inner part of the tumour, which is characterised by a higher proliferation rate of cancer cells.

By contrast, the peripheral part of the tumour is characterised by high migration and low proliferation rates of cancer cells. In his second model, the author considered glioma cancer as a composite of cancer cells and normal tissue cells. Each cell type exhibits a distinctive polarisation by an electric field, following a pattern similar to fractal geometry. He established a model reflecting the difference between the two types of cells and applied fractal calculus to their geometry. Iomin suggested that because of the fractal nature of cancer cells the TTF treatment might be enhanced at certain frequencies. As a result, the cancer cells' plasma membrane permeability would irreversibly increase, which could lead to their demise. This approach may constitute an effective non-invasive method for treating brain cancer.

**Explore further:**
How the physics of champagne bubbles may help address the world's future energy needs

**More information:** Iomin A., A toy model of fractal glioma development under RF electricfield treatment (2012), *European Physical Journal E* (EPJ E) 35: 42, DOI 10.1140/epje/i2012-12042-9

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.