Modeling cancer as a stochastic process

Tibor Antal
University of Edinburgh

Stochasticity is essential when modeling initiation of tumors, progression of tumors from benign to malignant states, or metastasis formation. Many aspects of these phenomena can be modeled by simple multi-type branching processes, and the results compare fairly well with experimental and clinical data. These models then can be used to optimize drug treatments. Spatial heterogeneity of tumors are also important for treatment, and their exploration has recently begun by modeling the interplay between tumor shapes and genetic mutations.

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