OXFORD UNIVERSITY COMPUTING LABORATORY

Computational Biology Group - Tumour Growth

Much of this research is in collaboration with The Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Oxford

Carcinogenesis is a complex and multistep process. As a result cancer modelling has become an expansive research area with plenty of scope for development. Tumours are thought to arise through genetic mutations and somatic evolution. The large number of possible mutations and permutations mean that it is extremely difficult to characterise a typical tumour cell.

A great deal of spatial heterogeneity exists depending on the part of the body the tumour develops and even within a single tumour due to the surrounding or underlying vasculature. As well as spatial heterogeneity, temporal heterogeneity must be taken into account. Tumours undergo various stages of tumourigenesis, becoming increasingly more aggressive and invasive. The list of complicating factors goes on.

To date, tumour models have considered a small subset of processes acting at a specific time during the tumours progression. However, advances are being made towards integrating models at different time and spatial scales.

Some current projects in the area of tumour growth focus on

  • cancer cell metabolism and resulting acidification of the tumour microenvironment.
  • hypoxia induced gene expression via the HIF-1 transcription factor.

More recent work is concerned with the accurate numerical solution of the equations that govern the growth of a three-dimensional tumour in tissue

People involved

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