Mathematical Challenges in the Analysis of Continuum Models for Cancer Growth, Evolution and Therapy (18w5115)


(Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique)

(ICREA & Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Bellaterra)

Thomas Hillen (University of Alberta)


The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) will host the "Mathematical Challenges in the Analysis of Continuum Models for Cancer Growth, Evolution and Therapy" workshop from November 25th to November 30th, 2018.

Mathematicians and other scientists are meeting at BIRS in a full-time brainstorming week to propose new avenues to comprehend and treat cancer. This one-week workshop gathers outstanding specialists in mathematics, evolutionary biology and cancer in the isolated environment provided by the BIRS research centre where they they will share knowledge, questions and relevant mathematical models, existing or to be designed, to meet the challenges of new conceptions about the nature of cancer.

The idea of cancer as an evolutionary disease, not only due to genetic mutations, but also, and maybe mainly, due to adaptations to a radical changing tissue environment, may be taken into account by models of ‘adaptive dynamics’ that are amenable to theoretically optimised therapeutic strategies, intended to be ultimately transferred to the clinic.

Among the viewpoints on cancer that can change its future and transform it to a chronic disease by designing new types of models directed towards rationally combined treatments are those of epigenetics (modifications of gene expression without mutations), and of the so-called ‘atavistic theory of cancer’, that considers cancer as a reversal of evolution from normal multicellularity in our organisms towards elementary, localised and selfish forms of cellular cooperation. These viewpoints will be debated in the workshop, with the aim to propose new theoretical models of cancer and new practical ways to circumvent it.

The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT). The research station in Oaxaca is funded by CONACYT.