A brief chat at a Faculty Senate meeting put two University of Delaware researchers onto an idea that could be of great value to cancer researchers.
The collaboration of Prof. Prasad Dhurjati, a chemical engineer who has done extensive computer modeling of biological and engineering systems, and Prof. Deni Galileo, a neurobiologist whose expertise is in cell motion and behavior in the brain, has produced a new and freely available computer program that predicts cancer cell motion and spread with high accuracy. An article on their model was recently published in BMC Systems Biology.
Galileo has been studying the movement and spread of glioblastoma tumors - an aggressive and devastating form of brain cancer that has claimed thousands of lives, including those of Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy and two Phillies greats - pitcher Tug McGraw and catcher Darren Daulton, to name just a few. U.S. Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with this kind of cancer in 2017.
A significant challenge for physicians and their patients is that this cancer spreads rapidly, reducing the effectiveness of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
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Image: UD Professors Prasad Dhurjati (left) and Deni Galileo have developed an accurate model of how aggressive cancer cells move and spread. (Credit: University of Delaware)