Every cloud has a silver lining: Weather forecasting models could predict brain tumor growth
Ever wondered how meteorologists can accurately predict the weather? They use complex spatiotemporal weather models, i.e. mathematical equations that track the motions of the atmosphere through time and space, and combine them with incoming data streams from weather stations and satellites. Now, an innovative new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Biology Direct has determined that the mathematical methodology used to assimilate data for weather forecasting could be used to predict the spread of brain tumors.
The authors from the Arizona State University and the Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona, USA, wanted to prove that mathematical methods used in weather prediction could be useful in clinical situations not just in brain cancer, but also in other cancers and diseases. They chose to study glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a malignant brain cancer.
GBM is the most common and most aggressive type of brain cancer. Despite treatment, average patient survival is less than 15 months from initial diagnosis, and it is largely resistant to chemo- and radiotherapy. GBM can quickly invade large, sensitive regions of the brain, which makes it almost impossible to remove via surgery and almost certain to recur afterwards. Because little progress has been made in this area, GBM is an important area to study, and is a particularly good cancer against which to test a mathematical model, as its dynamics involve complex geometry.
In addition to setting out to prove that good quantitative predictions of GBM growth and spread are possible, the authors wanted to provide uncertainty estimates. An algorithm previously developed for numerical weather prediction a modern state estimation algorithm known as a Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF) was applied to two different mathematical models of the growth and spread of glioblastoma. Synthetic magnetic resonance images of a hypothetical tumor were used for this purpose.
Data assimilation techniques were then used to update the state vector, i.e. the initial condition of the glioblastoma growth model, by combining new observations with one or more prior forecasts. They then measured the feasibility of the model in individual patient cases for making short-term (60-day) forecasts of GBM spread and growth.
Despite this being a preliminary study, the authors were successful in demonstrating the feasibility of LETKF for short-term, clinically relevant predictions of the growth and spread of malignant brain tumors. LETKF forecasting and data assimilation provides an accurate and computationally efficient way of updating the initial condition (state vector) of a complex spatiotemporal model with new quantitative measurements. The intelligent model can also take into account likely errors in model parameters and measurement uncertainties in magnetic resonance imaging.
Mark Preul, one of the leaders of the study, believes that LETKF should be considered for future efforts that use mathematical models for clinical purposes in individual patient cases. He said, "Though work remains before our approach can be seriously considered in clinical settings, an accurate forecast system for glioblastoma may prove useful for treatment planning and patient counseling."
More information: Accurate State Estimation from Uncertain Data and Models: An Application of Data Assimilation to Mathematical Models of Human Brain Tumors. Eric J Kostelich, Yang Kuang, Joshua M McDaniel, Nina Z Moore, Nikolay L Martirosyan and Mark C Preul Biology Direct (in press)
Provided by BioMed Central
- How brain tumors invade Dec 12, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Patient receives first prescription for FDA-approved brain tumor treatment Dec 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Glioblastoma multiforme in the Dock Nov 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers find possible way to block the spread of deadly brain tumors Apr 17, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- New regulatory circuit identified for aggressive, malignant brain tumor Apr 07, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
Cancer 22 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
Cancer 23 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
Cancer May 18, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(HealthDay)—Concurrent use of two immune checkpoint antibodies—ipilimumab and nivolumab—may be effective for the treatment of advanced melanoma, according to a proof-of-principal study presented in ...
Cancer May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The risks of metastasis and death associated with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) are low, but significant, and risk factors for poor outcome include tumor diameter, invasion beyond ...
Cancer May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have identified a potential new risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea: asthma. Using data from the National Institutes of Health (Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)-funded Wisconsin ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, ...
11 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (4) | 0 |
In their quest to learn more about the variability of cells between and within tissues, biomedical scientists have devised tools capable of simultaneously measuring dozens of characteristics of individual ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A new study looking at sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and markers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and neuroimaging adds to the growing body of research linking the two.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
The hunt for an HIV vaccine has gobbled up $8 billion in the past decade, and the failure of the most recent efficacy trial has delivered yet another setback to 26 years of efforts.
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Gourmands and foodies everywhere have long recognized ginger as a great way to add a little peppery zing to both sweet and savory dishes; now, a study from researchers at Columbia University shows purified components of the ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0