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Northwestern Develops Mathematical Model to Predict Brain Tumor Growth

The computer-based model predicts brain cancer growth to quickly show if therapy is effective.

Northwestern University researchers say they have developed a mathematical method that predicts the growth of brain tumor and could help doctors fight the tumor more effectively. 

Kristin Swanson, professor and vice chair of research for neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and a team of researchers developed the computer-based mathematical model to combat glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, according to a university press release.

“When a hurricane is approaching, weather models tell us where it’s going,” Swanson said in the release. “Our brain tumor model does the same thing. We know how much and where the tumor will grow. Then we can know how much the treatment deflected that growth and directly relate that to impact on patient survival.”

The mathematical model was published in Discriminating Surival Outcomes in Patients with Glioblastoma Using a Simulation-Based, Patient-Specific Response Metric, in the PLOS ONE journal on Jan. 23. The study is based on 33 patients with glioblastoma, according to the university press release.

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