This video, created within the framework of the ACGT (Advanced Clinico-Genomic Trials on cancer) project, shows a 4D top-down multiscale simulation of tumor response to two clinically applicable radiation treatment schemes based on discrete mathematics.
ACGT's most innovative and advanced support tool is its oncosimulator, a piece of mathematical modelling, simulation and visualisation software and an in silico experimental platform.
The In Silico Oncology Group (http://www.in-silico-oncology.iccs.ntua.gr) is developing this platform in collaboration with several research centres in Europe and Japan under the lead of Research Professor Georgios Stamatakos of the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).
'The oncosimulator is an integrated software system simulating in vivo tumour response to therapeutics within a clinical trial environment,' explains Prof. Graf. 'It aims to support clinical decision-making for individual patients. Cancer treatment optimisation is the main goal of the system.'
These in silico experiments can help train and inform doctors, life scientists, researchers and patients by demonstrating the likely tumour response to different therapeutic regimes. The technology is not ready for the clinic just yet, but the ACGT project took a very big step in that direction.
In the ACGT project the team focused on paediatric nephroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the kidney, and in particular on a trial run by SIOP, the International Society of Paediatric Oncology. Thanks to that trial, ACGT researchers were able to use anonymised real data before and after chemotherapeutic treatment, and that data provided a way to adapt the software to real clinical conditions and, at the same time, validate the software using real-world results.
'By using real medical data concerning nephroblastoma for a single patient in conjunction with plausible values for the model parameters … based on available literature, a reasonable prediction of the actual tumour volume shrinkage has been made possible,' says Prof. Graf.
The work on simulation included some of the most advanced mathematical medical science, such as stochastic cellular automata, discrete event simulation, hypermatrices and discrete operators. Prof. Graf says that using these approaches it is possible to also study genetic instability, or mutation, and mutagenesis, as well as looking at the complexity of the interactions between the immune system and the tumour.
- G S Stamatakos, V P Antipas, N K Uzunoglu, R G Dale, “A four-dimensional computer simulation model of the in vivo response to radiotherapy of glioblastoma multiforme: studies on the effect of clonogenic cell density.” The British Journal of Radiology. 06/2006; 79(941):389-400.
- Georgios S Stamatakos, Dimitra D Dionysiou, “Introduction of hypermatrix and operator notation into a discrete mathematics simulation model of malignant tumour response to therapeutic schemes in vivo. Some operator properties.” Cancer Informatics. 01/2009; 7:239-51.