A group of MOLAB researchers together with coworkers from Hospital 12 de Octubre de Madrid, Bern Inselspital and Universidad de Guadalajara (México) has developed a mathematical model describing the longitudinal volumetric growth data of grade II oligodendroglioma patients and their response to temozolomide.
The model was used by them to explore alternative therapeutic protocols for the in-silico twins of the patients and in virtual clinical trials. The simulations show that enlarging the time interval between chemotherapy cycles would maintain the therapeutic efficacy, while limiting toxicity and deferring the development of resistance. This may allow for improved drug-exposure by administering a larger number of cycles for longer treatment periods. A scheme based on this idea consisting of an induction phase (5 consecutive cycles, 1 per month) and a maintenance phase (12 cycles given in three-months intervals) led to substantial survival benefits in-silico. The computational results suggest that a clinical trial enrolling 100 patients per arm (standard intensive therapy versus 5+12 novel scheme) could prove the effectiveness of the proposed approach after a follow-up period of 10 years.
Thus the results could provide the basis for a clinical trial to test the computational predictions, potentially improving survival of this brain cancer type for years.
The study was published in the prestigious journal PLOS Computational Biology
Pérez-García VM, Ayala-Hernández LE, Belmonte-Beitia J, Schucht P, Murek M, Raabe A, et al. (2019) Computational design of improved standardized chemotherapy protocols for grade II oligodendrogliomas. PLoS Comput Biol 15(7): e1006778.