A Silver Lining

Ever wonder how meteorologists can accurately predict the weather? They use complex mathematical equations that track the motions of the atmosphere through time and space and combine them with incoming data streams from weather stations and satellites.


Now, a new study published by lead authors Eric Kostelich, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and Mark Preul, with the Barrow Neurological Institute, has determined that the mathematical methodology used to assimilate data for weather forecasting could be used to predict the spread of brain tumors – and not just in brain cancer, but also in other cancers and diseases. They chose to study glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant brain cancer.


“Though work remains before our approach can be seriously considered in clinical settings, an accurate forecast system of glioblastoma may prove useful for treatment planning and patient counseling,” Preul said.


“This work with Dr. Preul and his group combines the strengths of ASU’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Science’s faculty in nonlinear dynamics, atmospheric science and mathematical biology with the world-class clinical and laboratory capabilities of the Barrow Neurological Institute,” Kostelich said.


“It’s exciting that interdisciplinary investigations can lead to novel research directions, and I am grateful that ASU encourages these kinds of collaborations.”


– Margaret Coulomb, ASU College of Liberal Arts and Science


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