UNM professor's research could change the way doctors attack cancer

Created: 07/16/2014 7:33 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

At the UNM Cancer Center, Dr. Vittorio Cristini is working on ways to attack cancer, but he's not using chemotherapy or medications.

Rather, he's put together some equations that could help doctors figure out what kind of chemotherapy to use and when.

"I started trying to figure out if one could use the same mathematics that is used to describe that physics to also describe how tumors grow," he said.    

Physics. Cancer tissue, like everything else on this planet, must obey its laws. A little bit of science and a little bit of math too.

"It was showing me these images of these tumors and I noticed a lot of similarities from the physics and geometry point of view to other objects," Dr. Cristini said.

His research and publications caught the eye of Thomson Reuters and landed him on the list of "World's Most Influential Scientific Minds."

It's his focus on the science without the emotional connection with cancer patients.  

The key word here is focus.

"I just think of it as a scientific problem, otherwise you end up making wrong decisions. You have to study it as a problem of physics," he said.

Using math and science equations to help doctors treat cancer.

It offers a lot of hope, but there is no timetable just yet for when this could become 

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