October 5, 2021, 12:15–13:15
Room Auditorium 4
This talk recounts two recent projects on game theory and cancer. The first is about the use of coordination games in cancer research. It proposes a model of cancer initiation and progression where tumor growth is modulated by an evolutionary coordination game. Evolutionary games of cancer are widely used to model frequency-dependent cell interactions with the most studied games being the Prisoner's Dilemma and public goods games. Coordination games, by their more obscure and less evocative nature, are left understudied, despite the fact that, as we argue, they offer great potential in understanding and treating cancer. The second project develops a Markovian decision model for the treatment of cancer. Therapy is modeled as the patient's Markov Decision Problem, with the objective of maximizing the patient's discounted expected quality of life years. Patients choose the number of treatment rounds they wish to administer based on the progression of the disease as well as their own preferences. We obtain a powerful analytic decision tool by which patients may select their preferred treatment strategy. In a second model patients make choices on the timing of treatment rounds as well. By delaying a round of therapy the patient forgoes the gains of therapy for a time to delay its side effects. We obtain an analytic tool that allows for numerical approximations of the optimal times of delay.