Group for Research in Decision Analysis

Improving treatment of metastatic cancer through game theory

Katerina Stankova Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering, Maastricht University, Netherlands

Katerina Stankova

Presentation on YouTube

In this talk, we will investigate cancer treatment as a game-theoretic contest between the physician's therapy and the cancer cells' resistance strategies. This game has two critical asymmetries: (1) Only the physician can play rationally. Cancer cells, like all evolving organisms, can only adapt to current conditions; they can neither anticipate nor evolve adaptations for treatments that the physician has not yet applied. (2) It has a distinctive Stackelberg structure; the "leader" oncologist plays first and the "follower" cancer cells then respond and adapt to therapy. We will learn how the physician can utilize his advantages in this game.