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Game Theory and its Relation to Cancer Treatment

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/fullarticle/2696342?alert=article

The following article discusses the topic of cancer treatment methods in today’s modern society. The difference is that the author then presents this topic through the lens of how it relates to game theory. According to the author of the journal article, consistent therapy for disseminated cancer is to an extent necessary and shows signs of improvement in early stages but are often not enough in staving off cancer cells and types that contain “resistance strategies.” The author then goes on to further discuss how the doctor treatment and the cancer resistance strategies represent the two players in the game. The doctor treatment makes a decision while the cancer resistance strategy must follow and decide its strategy based on what doctor treatment chooses, which creates an asymmetrical “leader” and “follower” scenario. The article then goes on to conclude about that fact that keeping the same treatment represents playing the same strategy which puts the “player” at a disadvantage because it will effectively be staying constant while allowing the other player to react with a number of possible responses.

 

This article was namely relevant to our class lectures about game theory and Nash equilibrium as this article puts those concepts into practice in analyzing current cancer treatment methods. It further explores the nuances of game theory by discussing the asymmetries that often occur in common game theory examples such as the one stated and also discusses possible solutions to the cancer treatment issue based on this analysis. Overall, this article was extremely interesting in the sense that is turned a seemingly unrelated topic on its side and provided an insight through the lens of game theory/economics and from that was able to extrapolate meaningful steps in how in how to improve treatment outcomes and refine current protocols.

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