Multiscale cancer modeling

Thomas S. Deisboeck, Zhihui Wang, Paul Macklin, Vittorio Cristini

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    307 Citations (Scopus)


    Simulating cancer behavior across multiple biological scales in space and time, i.e., multiscale cancer modeling, is increasingly being recognized as a powerful tool to refine hypotheses, focus experiments, and enable more accurate predictions. A growing number of examples illustrate the value of this approach in providing quantitative insights in the initiation, progression, and treatment of cancer. In this review, we introduce the most recent and important multiscale cancer modeling works that have successfully established a mechanistic link between different biological scales. Biophysical, biochemical, and biomechanical factors are considered in these models. We also discuss innovative, cutting-edge modeling methods that are moving predictive multiscale cancer modeling toward clinical application. Furthermore, because the development of multiscale cancer models requires a new level of collaboration among scientists from a variety of fields such as biology, medicine, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science, an innovative Web-based infrastructure is needed to support this growing community.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAnnual review of biomedical engineering
    Place of PublicationPalo Alto
    PublisherAnnual Reviews
    Number of pages29
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Cancer systems biology
    • Discrete
    • Continuum
    • Hybrid
    • Clinical translation
    • Personalized medicine
    • Epidermal growth factor
    • Tumor-induced angiogenesis
    • Cell lung cancer
    • Semantic web technologies
    • Agent-based model
    • Systems biology
    • Factor receptor
    • Nonlinear simulation
    • Multicellular patterns
    • Biochemical pathways


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