Mathematical Model Predicts Efficacy of Immunotherapies for Patients With Cancer

March 12, 2021

Vittorio Cristini, PhD, Zhuhui Wang, PhD, and a collaborative team from the Houston Methodist Academic Institute Mathematics in Medicine Program and MD Anderson Cancer Center designed a mathematical model that predicts how specific cancers will respond to a wide range of immunotherapy treatments. It can be used to improve the likelihood of successful treatment for patients, looking across multiple cancer-immunotherapy drug combinations. The model predicts the strength of immune response in a patient and establishes a framework for engineering individual treatment strategies.

For 124 patients, four cancer types and two immunotherapy agents, the new model reliably predicted the immune responses and final tumor burden across all cancers and drug combinations examined. These results were validated by data from four clinical trials of checkpoint inhibitors, with a total of 177 patients, with the model accurately stratifying patients according to reduced or increased long-term tumor burden.

See the study for more detail on the model in Nature Biomedical Engineering, 4 January 2021.