Franziska Michor is an evolutionary biologist. Not just any evolutionary biologist but a professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Insititute and Harvard School of Public Health. Still feeling the challenges of introducing mathematics into medicine her successes along the way have been notable.
"Cancer is the body's fight with rapid evolution within the body."--Franziska Michor
You can read her full profile here, published as a winner of the 2015 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. The application of mathematical models to cancer research has revealed astounding insights in optimizing scheduling and dosages in drug treatments for cancer. Current clinical endpoints and trial designs in oncology rarely align with delaying emergent variants in cell populations.
Chronic myeloid leukemia--the numbers
Viewing medicine as a descriptive science needing to evolve toward a more informed discipline shifts the trajectory of how we design clinical trials, evaluate efficacy and safety, and importantly--impact patient outcomes. A 2007 article in Esquire magazine dubbed Michor the Isaac Newton of Biology.
Glioblastoma as a mathematical complex tumor
The understanding of how cells divide and die when exposed to radiation therapy highlights why traditional schedules may limit efficacy. The ability to predict the evolution of cellular changes in cancer cells may yield unconventional scheduling and dosages of radiation therapies but perhaps increased efficacy.
In math, the quality of the model depends on the quality of its assumptions; the quality of the answer depends on the quality of the question. The answer, in fact, becomes inevitable once the question is stated properly. There is a deep question tugging at medicine, in regard to cancer, one that medicine has never been able to formulate properly.
Looks like we need better questions...
Thoughtful discussions about content development and outcomes analytics that apply the principles and frameworks of health policy and economics to persistent and perplexing health and health care problems
Bonny is a data enthusiast applying curated analysis and visualization to persistent tensions between health policy, economics, and clinical research in oncology.