WEEK 35 - Mathematics, cancer and friends

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Week 35 in the war on cancer. Not too much to report this week. Here is a brief summary:

-We had meeting with our oncologist here in Oslo on Monday. As we already knew the results of the scans, not too much came out of it. We discussed some ideas, but he is generally skeptical of trying out anything that is not proven.

Dyanne has been in good shape all week.

-In the Nature article mentioned above, a strategy of switching between Tagrisso (the new medicine Dyanne is on) and erlotinib (the medicine she was previously on, but hav-A recent article in Nature (www.nature.com/n…/cancer-therapy-an-evolved-approach-1.19746) featured the work of Robert Gatenby, who is one of my favourite cancer researchers. He is one of few oncologists/researchers who seems to have thought deeply about how cancer evolves in response to treatment and what it would take to achieve long term disease control. He happens to also be a mathematician. More mathematicians should be cancer researchers, and more cancer researchers should be mathematicians.e developed resistance to) is mentioned. The idea of switching between the drugs would be to try to catch the cancer cells in an “evolutionary double bind”. It is a tempting strategy, as it offers hope of long term disease control and as it is implementable. Would it work? No one knows…

-There have been two big cancer meetings happening the last week and a half: the ELCC (European Lung Cancer Conference) in Geneva, and the AACR (American Association for Cancer Research) annual meeting in New Orleans. Lots of new research and data to try to wrap our heads around.

We had friends visiting this weekend. Peter & Azzizza (in the muslim corner) and their son Ilyas, Shashi & Navinah (in the hindu corner) and Anuja & Matt (in the “we happily dodge taxes” money corner). It was a great weekend with discussions about religion (I have committed to sign out of the Norwegian church tomorrow), on how to avoid taxes (the London residents had several good ideas), Trump (it is not often I find myself defending him…) and sex tourism in Riga (“What? I have never heard about that?! And NO, that is NOT why I am going there” – anonymous guest at our dinner table). It was a lot of fun, and hopefully we did not scare off the recent additions to the group (Navinah and Matt).

Friday beer was Skovlyst (Hubertus Tripel and JægerBock) from Denmark. Thank you Peter!

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