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Can Calculus cure Cancer?

Can Calculus cure Cancer?

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photo opportunity 6.50pm, Saturday 16 February, Tower reception, Tower building, University of Dundee.

Professor Mark Chaplain will deliver the last of the Saturday evening public lectures at the University of Dundee this weekend with a fascinating exploration of the role that maths can play in the treatment of cancer.

Awarded a personal chair in mathematical biology last year, Professor Mark Chaplain is a leader in his field. A graduate of the University, he has pioneered mathematical modelling to predict the growth of cancer tumours here in Dundee.

The lecture entitled "Can calculus cure cancer?" will explain how mathematical models of tumour growth have been developed over the last few years in the Department of Mathematics and how the models can be used to make careful predictions concerning the growth and spread of cancer to help optimise current chemotherapeutic regimes.

Mark will present mathematical models which describe the two key processes of angiogenesis- how the tumour gets its own blood supply, and cancer cell invasion. The mathematical models enable him to track the movement of individual cells and to predict where the cells migrate to and how fast they do this. The results of the models will be used to help clinicians decide on treatment.

The computer simulation technique used to construct the cancer models is also used in weather forecasting. Various data and measurements - pressure, moisture content and wind speed are used to inform a mathematical model of the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere; this model is then simulated on a computer and future predictions about our weather can be made.

In the same way, the cancer model can be used to discover how much drug is supplied to a solid tumour through its network of blood vessels, to see how far into the surrounding tissue the invading cancer cells penetrate and to decide how much tissue a surgeon should remove around the tumour in order to be certain that all cancer cells have been captured.

Mark Chaplain: "Cancer is a complex, multi-faceted disease responsible for the deaths of many people each year. This talk will examine the role modern applied mathematics can play in seeking a cure for cancer giving an overview of the biological facts of cancer and a brief introduction to calculus and modern applied mathematics."

Mark is a member and former director of SIMBIOS, a joint venture in mathematical modelling between the University of Dundee and the University of Abertay Dundee.

The lecture will take place in the Tower Extension lecture theatre at 7pm on Saturday 16 February. The lecture is free and open to the public./ENDS

Contact Keith Mackle 01382 344442

Release date13/02/02

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