Women's Health

New Research: Using Mathematics to Treat Ovarian Cancer

A cross-disciplinary approach

A cross-disciplinary approach

When pooling the perspectives of two or more disciplines during a research project, the outcome carries greater insight, clarity and purpose. For those including a mathematical model, the use of graphs, equations, diagrams, and computer simulations streamline the research facts into user-friendly images.

The Alder-Stack study is a prime example of cross-disciplinary research. This study joined the core knowledge of Mathematics with that of Biology to present interpretation of the outcome in a concise and usable form.

A medical-mathematical model already in use in the field of ovarian cancer is of special interest. Through the combined efforts of researches in both fields, a probability model has been designed to specifically address women carrying the genetic markers BRCA1/2. The presence of either of these markers places women at high risk for ovarian cancer.

The BRCA1/2 mathematical model helps estimate how many years longer a woman with the marker(s) might live by having both her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. In effect, this surgical intervention essentially makes women “immune” to ovarian cancer. Genetic counseling assists these women in learning about and deciding upon their treatment options.