Development of resistance limits efficiency of present anticancer therapies and preventing it remains a big challenge in cancer research. It is accepted, at the intuitive level, that resistance emerges as a consequence of the heterogeneity of cancer cells at the molecular, genetic and cellular levels. Produced by many sources, tumor heterogeneity is extremely complex time dependent statistical characteristics which may be quantified by measures defined in many different ways, most of them coming from statistical mechanics. In this paper, we apply the Markovian framework to relate population heterogeneity to the statistics of the environment. As, from an evolutionary viewpoint, therapy corresponds to a purposeful modi- fication of the cells’ fitness landscape, we assume that understanding general relationship between the spatiotemporal statistics of a tumor microenvironment and intratumor heterogeneity will allow to conceive the therapy as an inverse problem and to solve it by optimization techniques. To account for the inherent stochasticity of biological processes at cellular scale, the generalized distancebased concept was applied to express distances between probabilistically described cell states and environmental conditions, respectively.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.