Ohio State UniversityIt is said that if diagnosed early, cervical cancer may be exceedingly curable. But in almost one third of cases, the tumor could react badly to therapy or has a relapse, when cure is said to much less feasible.

Faster recognition of non-responding tumors could be likely by means of a novel mathematical model crafted by scientists at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

The model appears to utilize details from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans taken prior to and during therapy to examine alterations in tumor size. That information is believed to be fed into the model to forecast whether a certain case may be reacting well to treatment. If not, the patient may receive a more aggressive or experimental therapy halfway through treatment, something which may not be likely now.

The study applies MRI scans and outcome information from around 80 cervical cancer patients who were given a usual itinerary of radiation therapy intended to treat their cancer.

Principal investigator Jian Z. Wang, assistant professor of radiation medicine and a radiation physicist at the OSUCCC-James, commented, “The model enables us to better interpret clinical data and predict treatment outcomes for individual patients. The outcome predictions presented in this paper were solely based on changes in tumor volume as derived from MRI scans, which can be easily accessed even in community hospitals. The model is very robust and can provide a prediction accuracy of 90 percent for local tumor control and recurrence.”

The potency of the new model is claimed to be its utilization of MRI data to approximate around three aspects that seem to play vital functions in tumor reduction and that may differ from patient to patient. Issues like the percentage of tumor cells that appear to stay alive through radiation exposure, the pace at which the body eliminates dead cells from the tumor, and the development rate of current tumor cells apparently vary for each patient. The model may be pertinent to every cervical cancer patient, and the examiners appear to be developing a model that may be used in other cancer sites.

Co-author Dr. Nina A. Mayr, professor of radiation medicine at Ohio State, observes that the size of cervical tumors may be presently anticipated by touch, or palpation, which is said to be frequently vague. Moreover, decrease of a tumor may not be obvious until months subsequent to the completions of therapy.

Other clinical issues presently applied to forecast a tumor’s reaction to therapy comprise of the tumor’s stage, whether it has supposedly attacked close by lymph nodes and its microscopic form.

Wang mentioned that their kinetic model helps to understand the underlying biological mechanisms of the rather complicated living tissue that is a tumor. It enables them to better interpret clinical data and predict treatment outcomes, which is critical for identifying the most effective therapy for personalized medicine.

The study was published in the Journal Cancer Research.