They use game theory to analyze the behavior of metastases.

2021/10/26 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Ed. Jezper / 350 RF

Researchers from the Economic Analysis of the UPV/EHU and pathologists from Biocruces collaborate to understand how tumor cells compete. Game theory is being used for this. In fact, from the point of view of this theory, a game is a conflicting situation in which the opposing interests of individuals prevail; in this context, when one of the parties makes a decision, it influences the decision that the other party will make. Therefore, the outcome of the conflict is determined on the basis of the decisions taken by all participants.

Game theory has been shown to be useful in illustrating interactions between tumor cells and tumor and host cells. These interactions are very complex and still not well known. Considering cancer as a social dysfunction of a group of individuals has provided new study perspectives that hope to obtain promising results in the future.

First, an attempt has been made to understand the influence of cellular heterogeneity in a tumor through modeling. Thus, models of competition between tumor cells have been created and the hypothesis has been raised that metastasis is a response of a subset of tumor cells. Through it, cells seek collective stability, far from the primary tumor, to prevent its disappearance. The hypothesis coincides with the perspective that tumor cells tend to look for a more adequate means in malignant tumors.

According to researchers, game theory has shown that the greater the heterogeneity of tumor cells, the more harmful it can be to cancer cells and the better the patient. That is, cancers of high cellular diversity are more beneficial to the patient than cancer produced by a tumor of low diversity. It follows that in the long run it may not be good to remove all types of cells from a tumor.