Calculating alternative interventions for cancer and infection with quantum physics concepts

Portrait of Jacob Scott, MD, DPhil

A team co-led by Cleveland Clinic radiation oncologist Jacob Scott, MD, DPhil and Case Western Reserve University theoretical biophysicist Michael Hinczewski, PhD recently published findings from a new study that demonstrates, for the first time, how quantum physics concepts can assist in the development of novel drug interventions for cancer and bacterial infections. (Iram, S., Dolson, E., Chiel, J., 2020, Nat Phys).

The team, which includes collaborators at the University of Maryland and the Institut Curie in Paris, has shown how ideas from quantum physics, such as principles of quantum control, can be translated and applied to biological problems. Their work developing a mathematical algorithm that can be used to design and speed-up specific interventions to prevent or overturn drug resistance opens the door for the potential of an entirely new area of study: quantum-inspired biological control.

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